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The Journal Gazette

Monday, March 18, 2013 4:35 pm

Obama: Iranians pay high price for nuke defiance

By JOSH LEDERMANAssociated Press

President Barack Obama is telling Iranian citizens they pay a high price for their leaders' refusal to address the world's concerns about Iran's nuclear program.

Obama's remarks celebrating Nowruz, the Persian new year, come the day before Obama leaves for Israel. That trip is geared in part toward convincing skeptical Israelis the U.S. is serious about preventing an Iranian nuclear weapon.

Obama says the world is united in that goal. He says there's a practical solution that would let Iran access nuclear energy, but Iran's government hasn't shown its nuclear program is peaceful.

Obama says he hopes Iran's leaders will change course so Iranians won't be denied opportunities that citizens from other nations enjoy. He says it will take a sustained effort to overcome decades of mistrust.