While it’s true that a lot of things have changed in the past five years, one thing about the Barack Obama administration is obvious: these guys know what diplomacy is. This Tuesday, Obama made another attempt to calm things down in the region with a simple Persian New Year message to Iranians and an anti censor bid.
The video features president Barack Obama sending out the best from him and his wife to all those people that are now celebrating the Persian New Year. But don’t imagine the president’s people have gone to the trouble of filming a video only for Obama to cite a Hallmark’s holiday card.
As Facebook, Twitter and the overall internet have prevailed all over the world and the information has become more accessible, the Obama administration used it to the fullest to send out their message. Tuesday’s message to the Iranian people might seem like a simple greeting and a confirmation of U.S.’ unbiased involvement in the region, but it is a great example of mixing politics, democracy, internet and the hint of freedom of speech to befriend people in a country where censor is still common.
Basically, the Persian New Year was used as an opportunity to officially announce Iran that censor can’t stop the information flow, after the Tehran government has lowered a so called “electronic curtain” to prevent information leaks that would generate clashes or dissidence.
Obama said: “the people of Iran should know that the United States of America seeks a future of deeper connections between our people – a time when the electronic curtain that divides us is lifted and your voices are heard”. The president hinted that with the Persian New Year changes will come as he talks about a “season of new beginnings” during which “mistrust and fear are overcome by mutual understanding and our common hopes as human beings”.
The president added that the “Iranian government jams satellite signals to shut down television and radio broadcasts”, denying “the rest of the world the benefit of interacting with the Iranian people, who have so much to offer”.
Whether or not intended, Obama’s speech is sure to cause a lot of fuss in Iran, that is, if it makes through the electronic curtain.