On Friday, President Trump used the occasion of the ancient Persian holiday of Nowruz, which dates back over 3,000 years and was celebrated in Persia (now Iran) 1,500 years before the advent of Islam, to send a message of hope to the Iranian people struggling to free themselves from the despotic Islamic regime. Trump stated, “The people of Iran have made it clear that they want leadership that represents them, not the interests of its corrupt regime.”
I send my best wishes to those here in America and around the globe celebrating Nowruz. Marking the first day of spring, Nowruz commences the Persian New Year and is celebrated by Iranians and many others across the Middle East, Central Asia, the United States, and around the world.
The past year has been historic for the people of Iran. We saw brave and courageous Iranians stand up in massive numbers across the entire country to protest their government’s corruption and demand accountability. The people of Iran have made it clear that they want leadership that represents them, not the interests of its corrupt regime. The Iranian people deserve leaders who listen to, respect, and invest in them, not leaders who target and persecute them while wasting money to advance their nuclear ambitions and test more missiles.
Nowruz is a time of renewal that encourages those observing the holiday to embrace a refreshed sprit of optimism. The Iranian people have great untapped potential. Their culture is vibrant, and Iranians excel in fields from math and science, law, technology, and the arts. They deserve a future of peace and prosperity at home and with all other nations. As they begin this season of renewed hope, we join our partners and allies around the world in praying for a brighter, freer future for Iran.
On behalf of the United States, I extend my warmest greetings for a joyous and peace-filled Nowruz. Today, we are reminded once more that the forces of freedom and liberty will always triumph over evil and oppression.
As National Geographic explains, Nowruz means “new day” and is set to mark the vernal equinox, the first day of spring. In Iran the solar calendar begins on Nowruz.
National Geographic notes, “Its roots are as a feast day in Zoroastrianism, a religion practiced in ancient Persia that viewed the arrival of spring as a victory over darkness. The holiday survived the Islamic conquest of Persia in the seventh century and the decline of Zoroastrianism’s popularity, and it spread across the globe through the diaspora of Persian people throughout history.”
National Geographic continues, “Nowruz has proven resilient in the modern era, too. After Iran’s Islamic Revolution in 1979, the new government attempted to suppress the festival out of fear it might detract from the state religion. But those attempts failed, and Nowruz is now celebrated as an official state holiday in Iran … It’s also an official holiday in Afghanistan, Albania, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Iraqi Kurdistan, Kazakhstan, Kosovo, Kyrgyzstan, Mongolia’s Bayan-Ölgii province, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan, and it’s widely celebrated in places like Turkey, Indian and other places with Persian enclaves.”