Updated: 2:00 p.m., ET:
As Iranians celebrate Nowruz, the Persian new year, politicians worldwide are sending their annual holiday greetings. In Obama's message he told Iranians, "This Nowruz could mark ... a new chapter in the history of Iran and its role in the world."
Iran–U.S. relations have significantly thawed since last Nowruz. In November, the two signed an interim nuclear deal, ending years of diplomatic standoff.
In his recorded statement, Obama said:
"In short, real diplomatic progress this year can help open up new possibilities and prosperity for the Iranian people for years to come. That's the message the Iranian people sent at the ballot box last year. I hope that the entire Iranian government hears that message too. Because for the first time in many years, we have the opportunity to start down a new path. If Iran seizes this moment, this Nowruz could mark not just the beginning of a new year, but a new chapter in the history of Iran and its role in the world — including a better relationship with the United States and the American people, rooted in mutual interest and mutual respect."