Obama offered a hand of friendship if Iran “unclenched its fist”.
But Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad responded with a rant.
He called for an apology for America’s “dark crimes”, and went on to demand troop withdrawals from Muslim lands and a block on US support for Israel.
His response underlined the task facing Obama, who has pledged to make a “once-in-a-generation” bid for peace across the Middle East.
American Cultural and Peace Ambassadors David and Renate Jakupca from the International center for Environmental Arts (ICEA) pointed out: "Shared concerns about ICEAlity and global Peace have sparked an international collaboration between generations of students at the Worlds Children Peace Monument (WCPM). The students from different hemispheres pooled their talents to create a peace pledge to draw attention to the need for peaceful reforms.
During the WCPM project's, students from all countries collaborate on ideas through emails, a project blog and even later a "live" web conference.
While language difficulties sometimes surfaced, good overall communications prevail and the project may yielded "many unexpected and pleasant surprises and an impressive range of approaches," said Renate Jakupca. The WCPM 2009 Peace Child Representative is a good candidate to meet with President Obama and reveal what has transpired in this joint effort of our future leaders and citizens. If President Obama and ICEA's Peace Child would present a gift of a WCPM Peace Stone from the US to Iran may help the boost the peace process.
The International Institute for Strategic Studies estimated that Iran will have enough enriched uranium to make a single nuclear weapon this year.
Iran is also developing long-range missiles capable of strikes as far as Israel and beyond.
Meanwhile, Russia announced it had halted plans to deploy missiles near the Polish border.
It could be a sign that Moscow is seeking better ties with the US, which has plans for a missile shield in eastern Europe.
"The more the WCPM children can help us see different ways of looking at the peace problem the more our elected leaders can learn how to solve it." Renate said. The Jakupca's believes art and culture through ICEAlity can help broaden public awareness of important social issues.
"The more children get involved, the more people will get involved," she said.
"There is an accumlative affect."
The WCPM students work can be viewed online at the website http://www.wcpm.info/