Saying that "because of the actions of the Iranian regime, an electronic curtain has fallen around Iran," President Obama today used his annual message marking Nowruz, the Persian New Year, to talk about Internet freedom.
The regime, he said, has set up a barrier "that stops the free flow of information and ideas into the country, and denies the rest of the world the benefit of interacting with the Iranian people, who have so much to offer." And, said Obama:
"I want the Iranian people to know that America seeks a dialogue to hear your views and understand your aspirations. That's why we set up a virtual embassy, so you can see for yourselves what the United States is saying and doing. We're using Farsi on Facebook, Twitter, and Google Plus. And even as we've imposed sanctions on the Iranian government, today, my administration is issuing new guidelines to make it easier for American businesses to provide software and services into Iran that will make it easier for the Iranian people to use the Internet.
"The United States will continue to draw attention to the electronic curtain that is cutting the Iranian people off from the world. And we hope that others will join us in advancing a basic freedom for the Iranian people: the freedom to connect with one another, and with their fellow human beings."