U.S. President Barack Obama walks across the South Lawn to the Oval Office of the White House
U.S. President Barack Obama in Washington. Photo by AP
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U.S. President Barack Obama told 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, came the day before he embarks on his trip to Israel, a trip that is geared in part toward convincing skeptical Israelis that the U.S. is serious about preventing an Iranian nuclear weapon.

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

The U.S. presidend also said he hopes Iran's leaders will change course so that Iranians won't be denied opportunities that citizens from other nations enjoy, and  added that it will take a sustained effort to overcome decades of mistrust.