Obama’s Message to Iranians: ‘Yours Is a Great Civilization’

By CNSNews.com Staff | January 18, 2016 | 12:54 PM EST

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(CNSNews.com) - In a statement delivered from the White House on Sunday, President Barack Obama hailed what he described as the success of the nuclear deal with Iran, while noting that Iran was still subject to sanctions “for its violations of human rights, for its support of terrorism, and for its ballistic missile program.”

“But I do want to once again speak directly to the Iranian people,” Obama said, according to the White House transcript. “Your is a great civizliation, with a vibrant culture that has so much to contribute to the world—in commerce, and in science and the arts.”

Here is a key excerpt from the president’s statement:

"Of course, even as we implement the nuclear deal and welcome our Americans home, we recognize that there remain profound differences between the United States and Iran.  We remain steadfast in opposing Iran’s destabilizing behavior elsewhere, including its threats against Israel and our Gulf partners, and its support for violent proxies in places like Syria and Yemen.  We still have sanctions on Iran for its violations of human rights, for its support of terrorism, and for its ballistic missile program.  And we will continue to enforce these sanctions, vigorously.  Iran’s recent missile test, for example, was a violation of its international obligations.  And as a result, the United States is imposing sanctions on individuals and companies working to advance Iran’s ballistic missile program.  And we are going to remain vigilant about it.  We're not going to waver in the defense of our security or that of our allies and partners.    

"But I do want to once again speak directly to the Iranian people. Yours is a great civilization, with a vibrant culture that has so much to contribute to the world--in commerce, and in science and the arts. For decades, your government’s threats and actions to destabilize your region have isolated Iran from much of the world.  And now our governments are talking with one another. Following the nuclear deal, you--especially young Iranians--have the opportunity to begin building new ties with the world.  We have a rare chance to pursue a new path--a different, better future that delivers progress for both our peoples and the wider world.  That’s the opportunity before the Iranian people. We need to take advantage of that."