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

Australia Knights Prince Philip, Sparking National Outrage

Abbott's surprise reintroduction of knights and dames in the country's honors system last year drew criticism that he was out of touch with national sentiment More

SAG Award Boosts 'Birdman' Oscar Hopes

Individual acting Oscars appear to be sewn up: SAG awards went to artists who won Golden Globes: Julianne Moore, Eddie Redmayne, Patricia Arquette, J.K. Simmons More

Katy Perry Lights Way for Super Bowl's Girl Power Moment

Pop star's selection to headline US football championship's halftime show extends NFL's trend of selecting artists who appeal to younger viewers 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.
Zoo Animals Show Their Artistic Sidesi
X
June Soh
January 23, 2015 10:03 PM
The pursuit of happiness is so important, America's founding fathers put it in the Declaration of Independence. Any zookeeper will tell you animals need enrichment, just like humans do. So painting, and even music, are part of the Smithsonian National Zoo's program to keep the animals happy. VOA’s June Soh met some animal artists at the zoo in Washington. Faith Lapidus narrates.
Video

Video Zoo Animals Show Their Artistic Sides

The pursuit of happiness is so important, America's founding fathers put it in the Declaration of Independence. Any zookeeper will tell you animals need enrichment, just like humans do. So painting, and even music, are part of the Smithsonian National Zoo's program to keep the animals happy. VOA’s June Soh met some animal artists at the zoo in Washington. Faith Lapidus narrates.
Video

Video Progress, Some Areas of Disagreement in Cuba Talks

U.S. and Cuban officials are reporting progress from initial talks in Havana on re-establishing diplomatic ties. U.S. Assistant Secretary of State (for Western Hemisphere Affairs) Roberta Jacobson said while there was agreement on a broad range of issues, there also are some “profound disagreements” between Washington and Havana. VOA State Department correspondent Pam Dockins has the story.
Video

Video Worldwide Photo Workshops Empower Youth

Last September, 20 young adults from South Sudan took part in a National Geographic Photo Camp. They are among hundreds of students from around the world who have learned how to use a camera to tell the stories of the people in their communities through the powerful medium of photography. Three camp participants talked about their experiences recently on a visit to Washington. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
Video

Video US, Japan Offer Lessons as Eurozone Launches Huge Stimulus

The Euro currency has fallen sharply after the European Central Bank announced a bigger-than-expected $67 billion-a-month quantitative easing program Thursday - commonly seen as a form of printing new money. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London on whether the move might rescue the eurozone economy -- and what lessons have been learned from similar programs around the world.
Video

Video Nigerian Elections Pose Concern of Potential Conflict in 'Middle Belt'

Nigeria’s north-central state of Kaduna has long been the site of fighting between Muslims and Christians as well as between people of different ethnic groups. As the February elections approach, community and religious leaders are making plans they hope will keep the streets calm after results are announced. Chris Stein reports from the state capital, Kaduna.
Video

Video As Viewership Drops, Obama Puts His Message on YouTube

Ratings reports show President Obama’s State of the Union address this week drew the lowest number of viewers for this annual speech in 15 years. White House officials anticipated this, and the president has decided to take a non-traditional approach to getting his message out. VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.
Video

Video S. Korean Businesses Want to End Trade Restrictions With North

Business leaders in South Korea are calling for President Park Geun-hye to ease trade restrictions with North Korea that were put in place in 2010 after the sinking of a South Korean warship.Pro-business groups argue that expanding trade and investment is not only good for business, it is also good for long-term regional peace and security. VOA’s Brian Padden reports.
Video

Video US Marching Bands Grow Into a Show of Their Own

The 2014 Super Bowl halftime show was the most-watched in history - attracting an estimated 115 million viewers. That event featured pop star Bruno Mars. But the halftime show tradition started with marching bands, which still dominate the entertainment at U.S. high school and college American football games. But as Enming Liu reports in this story narrated by Adrianna Zhang, marching bands have grown into a show of their own.

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More

All About America

AppleAndroid