President Obama has put out his fourth Nowruz message to the Iranian people. Unlike the 2009 version, this one has no "unclenched fist" extended to the regime or even a reference to the "Islamic Republic". Instead, after Obama notes that "Nowruz is a time when so many Iranian families and loved ones come together in celebration, remind[ing] us of the rich culture of the Iranian people and the extraordinary contributions that they have made to human history", he sharply criticises the leaders:
Yet even as holidays like this underscore the connections that we share as human beings, the Government of Iran is going to great lengths to isolate the Iranian people by cutting them off from the outside world.
For far too long, the Iranian regime has tried to control the flow of information and ideas to and from the Iranian people and the outside world. As people everywhere are making their voices heard through new technologies and social media, the people of Iran often find their voices stifled and their ability to connect denied. Like the Iron Curtain of the 20th century, an Electronic Curtain is descending as the Iranian regime attempts to control what its citizens see and hear.