News / Middle East

Iran Marks New Year Holiday

In this photo released by official website of the Iranian supreme leader's office, Iranian supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei delivers a speech for the Iranian New Year, Nowruz, in Tehran, Iran, March 20, 2013.
In this photo released by official website of the Iranian supreme leader's office, Iranian supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei delivers a speech for the Iranian New Year, Nowruz, in Tehran, Iran, March 20, 2013.
Edward Yeranian
Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei delivered a televised speech to mark the Persian New Year, as most Iranians spent time with friends and family, preparing traditional foods for the Nowruz holiday. 
 
The ayatollah's annual message was interspersed with greetings, wishes for a better future and angry diatribes against the West. 
 
He said that life has its ups and downs, but what is important is that we arrive at the ups. He said that last year was marked by a conflict with Iran's enemies and that those enemies targeted both its political system and its economy, trying to hinder it with their sanctions. 
 
Khamenei went on to urge his countrymen to work harder and invest more. He told them to “persevere, stay optimistic and be enthusiastic.”  Iran's upcoming June presidential election, he said, will create a “road map” for the country over the next four years. 

President Obama's Nowruz Message
 

U.S. President Barack Obama also spoke to the Iranian people for Nowruz, saying in a taped message released on Monday that the United States would like better relations with Iran, despite the differences, including over Tehran's controversial nuclear program: 
 
"I have had no illusions about the difficulty of overcoming decades of mistrust. It will take a serious and sustained effort to resolve the many differences between Iran and the United States. This includes the world’s serious and growing concerns about Iran’s nuclear program, which threatens peace and security in the region and beyond," he said. 
 
Tehran says its nuclear program is peaceful while the West suspects it is working toward development of a nuclear weapon. Obama said the U.S. is eager to find a diplomatic solution. 
 
“The United States prefers to resolve this matter peacefully, diplomatically. Indeed, if -as Iran’s leaders say- their nuclear program is for peaceful purposes, then there is a basis for a practical solution. It’s a solution that would give Iran access to peaceful nuclear energy while resolving once and for all the serious questions that the world has about the true nature of the Iranian nuclear program," he said. 
 
An Iranian man reads the Koran beside a traditional table 'Haft Seen' or 'Seven S', before the start of the Nowruz, or the Iranian New Year in Tehran March 20, 2009.An Iranian man reads the Koran beside a traditional table 'Haft Seen' or 'Seven S', before the start of the Nowruz, or the Iranian New Year in Tehran March 20, 2009.
x
An Iranian man reads the Koran beside a traditional table 'Haft Seen' or 'Seven S', before the start of the Nowruz, or the Iranian New Year in Tehran March 20, 2009.
An Iranian man reads the Koran beside a traditional table 'Haft Seen' or 'Seven S', before the start of the Nowruz, or the Iranian New Year in Tehran March 20, 2009.
Iranians, meanwhile, marked Nowruz with dance, music and traditional meals to celebrate the start of the new year. 
 
Analyst Alex Vatanka of the Middle East Institute says many of Iran's political leaders, including President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, are trying to promote traditional Persian holidays like Nowruz to focus on nationalism rather than the more religious aspects of the country's Islamic Republic. 
 
"People such as Ahmadinejad the last few years, and people around Ahmadinejad who hope to be in office after June, are basically saying 'We are not sure if the clergy should be at the center, any more, and the way they challenge the rule of the clergy is by saying: 'Let's put Iran and Iranian nationalism and things like Nowruz, first," he said. 
 
Iran's Nowruz holiday lasts for thirteen days of family gatherings and outings.

You May Like

For Lebanon-based Refugees, Desperation Fuels Perilous Passage

In a war that has caused an estimated three million people to flee Syria, efforts to make perilous sea journey in search of asylum expected to increase More

South African Brewer Tackles Climate Change

Mega-brewer SAB Miller sent delegates to climate summit in Peru, says it is one of many private companies taking their own steps to fight climate change More

Indonesia Reports Increase in Citizens Joining Islamic State

Officials say more than 350 of its citizens are now in Syria or Iraq to fight with Islamic State - 50 more than last month More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Mohammad H Farahani from: Toronto, Canada
March 21, 2013 12:24 AM
Norooz 1392 just arrived. Let's celebrate and saying "Happy Norooz" to all mankind in anywhere on this planet without any border. I do believe that this is philosophy of NOROOZ. HAPPY NOROOZ


by: canadianpersian from: Canada
March 20, 2013 1:46 PM
Happy Persian New Year, and Happy first day of Spring to all! :)

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Will Pakistan School Shooting Galvanize Pakistan Against Extremism?i
X
Ayesha Tanzeem
December 17, 2014 11:54 AM
The attack on a military school in Pakistan’s northwest city of Peshawar left 141 dead, including 132 children. Strong statements of condemnation poured in from across the world. The country announced three days of mourning, and the leadership, both political and military, promised retribution. VOA's Ayesha Tanzeem looks at how likely the Pakistani government is to clamp down on all extremist groups.
Video

Video Will Pakistan School Shooting Galvanize Pakistan Against Extremism?

The attack on a military school in Pakistan’s northwest city of Peshawar left 141 dead, including 132 children. Strong statements of condemnation poured in from across the world. The country announced three days of mourning, and the leadership, both political and military, promised retribution. VOA's Ayesha Tanzeem looks at how likely the Pakistani government is to clamp down on all extremist groups.
Video

Video ‘Anti-Islamization’ Marches Increase Tensions In Germany

Anti-immigrant rallies in Germany have been building in recent weeks, peaking Monday night in the city of Dresden where tens of thousands of people turned out to demonstrate against what they call the ‘Islamization’ of the West. Germany has offered asylum to more Syrian refugees than any other country, and this appears to have set off the protests. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Aceh Rebuilt Decade After Tsunami, But Scars Remain

On December 26, 2004 there was an earthquake in the Indian Ocean so powerful it caused the Earth’s axis to wobble a few centimeters. Onshore on the island of Sumatra, the resulting tsunami was devastating. A decade later, VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Banda Aceh, Indonesia, where although there is little remaining evidence of the physical devastation, the psychological scars among survivors remain.
Video

Video Refugees Living in Kenya Long for Peace in the Home Countries

Kenya is host to numerous refugees seeking safe haven from conflict. Immigrants from Somalia face challenges in their new lives in Kenya. Ahead of International Migrants Day (December 18) Lenny Ruvaga has more for VOA News from the Kenyan capital.
Video

Video Turkey's Authoritarianism Dismays Western Allies

The Turkish government has been defiant in the face of criticism at home and abroad for its raids targeting opposition media. The European Union on Monday expressed dismay after President Recep Tayyip Erdogan lashed out at Brussels for criticizing his government's action. Turkey's bid to be considered for EU membership has been on hold while critics accuse the NATO ally of increasingly authoritarian rule. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video US-China Year in Review: Hong Kong to Climate Change

The United States is pushing for a code of conduct to resolve territorial disputes in the South China Sea as it works to improve commercial ties with Beijing. VOA State Department correspondent Scott Stearns reports on a year of U.S. policy toward China from Hong Kong to climate change.
Video

Video Japanese Leader’s Election Win Raises Potential for Conflict with Neighbors

Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and his allies easily won a two-thirds majority in parliament Sunday, even though the country has slipped into recession under his conservative policies. VOA’s Brian Padden reports from Seoul, that the prime minister’s victory will empower him to continue economic reforms but also pursue a nationalist agenda that will likely increase tensions with Japan’s neighbors.
Video

Video Nuba Mountain Families Hide in Caves to Escape Aerial Bombings

Despite ongoing peace talks between Sudan's government and the rebel Sudan People’s Liberation Movement-North, or SPLM-N, daily aerial attacks continue in South Kordofan province’s Nuba Mountains. Adam Bailes was there and reports for VOA that government forces are targeting civilian areas, rather than military positions, with their daily bombardments.

All About America

AppleAndroid