U.S. President Barack Obama is urging Iran to seize the opportunity offered by nuclear talks with world powers to end the country's economic isolation and forge a new relationship with the United States.
Obama spoke about his hopes in a video message
addressed to the people and leaders of Iran to mark the Persian New Year, Nowruz.
He said Iran's willingness to reach a comprehensive deal on the nuclear issue will help alleviate the economic hardships Iranians have been experiencing in recent years.
The president said there is a chance to reach an agreement if Iran takes "meaningful and verifiable steps" to assure the world its nuclear program is for only peaceful purposes.
A group comprising the United States, France, Britain, China, Russia and Germany is trying to reach a permanent deal that would prevent Iran from developing a nuclear weapon. Last year, those six world powers and Iran reached an interim deal for Iran to curb most of its sensitive nuclear activity in exchange for limited sanctions relief.
On Wednesday, negotiators for Iran and the six world powers adjourned what they called "substantive and useful" talks on Iran's nuclear program and said they will resume on April 7 in Vienna.
The West suspects Iran intends to use its uranium enrichment program to make nuclear weapons, which Iran has repeatedly denied.