U.S. President Barack Obama Saturday pledged to ensure Iranians could access the Internet without fear of censorship, and blamed Tehran for isolating itself. Obama used his annual Nowruz, New Year's message to keep the door to dialogue open, but also spoke directly to the Iranians.
"Even as we continue to have differences with the Iranian government, we will sustain our commitment to a more hopeful future for the Iranian people," Obama said, according to AFP. The US leader also offered increased educational programs to allow young Iranians to come to the United States to study.
He promised US efforts to "ensure that Iranians can have access to the software and Internet technology that will enable them to communicate with each other, and with the world, without fear of censorship."
Obama referred to his offer of dialogue Iran. "Over the course of the last year, it is the Iranian government that has chosen to isolate itself, and to choose a self-defeating focus on the past over a commitment to build a better future," Obama said.
"But our offer of comprehensive diplomatic contacts and dialogue stands."
Obama vowed to hold the Iranian government "accountable" because he said it had refused to live up to its obligations over its nuclear program. And he said that US policy was designed to bend "the arc of history in the direction of justice," touching on an important concept in Islam.