Today, I want to extend my best wishes to all who are celebrating Nowruz in the United States and around the world.
Each year of my presidency, I have marked this holiday by speaking directly to the people of Iran. That is what I would like to do once more.
This is a holiday for the Iranian people to spend time with friends and family; to reflect on the extraordinary blessings that you enjoy; and to look forward to the promise of a new day. After all, this is a season of hope and renewal. And today, we know that this is also a season of promise across the Middle East and North Africa, even as there are also enormous challenges.
I believe that there are certain values that are universal -- the freedom of....
...peaceful assembly and association; the ability to speak your mind and choose your leaders. And what we are seeing across the region is the insistence on governments that are accountable to the people.
But we also know that these movements for change are not unique to these last few months. The same forces of hope that swept across Tahrir Square were seen in Azadi Square in June of 2009. And just as the people of the region have insisted that they have a choice in how they are governed, so do the governments of the region have a choice in their response.
So far, the Iranian government has responded by demonstrating that it cares far more about preserving its own power than respecting the rights of the Iranian people.
For nearly two years, there has been a campaign of intimidation and abuse. Young and old; men and women; rich and poor -- the Iranian people have been persecuted. Hundreds of prisoners of conscience are in jail. The innocent have gone missing. Journalists have been silenced. Women tortured. Children sentenced to death.
The world has watched these unjust actions with alarm. We have seen Nasrin Sotoudeh jailed for defending human rights; Jaffar Panahi imprisoned and unable to make his films; Abdolreza Tajik thrown in jail for being a journalist. The Bahai community and Sufi Muslims punished for their faith; Mohammad Valian, a young student, sentenced to death for throwing three stones.
These choices do not demonstrate strength, they show fear. For it is telling when a government is so afraid of its own citizens that it won.t even allow them the freedom to access information or to communicate with each other. But the future of Iran will not be shaped by fear. The future of Iran belongs to the young people -- the youth who will determine their own destiny.
Over 60% of the Iranian people were born after 1979. You are not bound by the chains of the past -- the distracting hatred of America that will create no jobs or opportunity; the rigid and unaccountable government; the refusal to let the Iranian people realize their full potential for fear of undermining the authority of the state.
Instead, you -- the young people of Iran -- carry within you both the ancient greatness of Persian civilization, and the power to forge a country that is responsive to your aspirations. Your talent, your hopes, and your choices will shape the future of Iran, and help light the world. And though times may seem dark, I want you to know that I am with you.
On this day -- a celebration that serves as a bridge from the past to the future -- I would like to close with a quote from the poet Simin Behbahani -- a woman who has been banned from travelling beyond Iran, even though her words have moved the world: .Old, I may be, but, given the chance, I will learn. I will begin a second youth alongside my progeny. I will recite the Hadith of love of country with such fervor as to make each word bear life..
Let this be a season of second youth for all Iranians -- a time in which a new season bears new life once more. Thank you. And Aid-e-Shoma Mobarak.
In this video, President Obama sends an important message to those celebrating the Persian holiday of Nowruz, and in particular to the people and government of Iran. While recognizing our continuing differences with the Iranian government, the President outlines his commitment to a more just and hopeful future for all Iranians. To everyone celebrating Nowruz around the world, may you have a peaceful and prosperous new year. Play/pause Mute/unmute Rewind and stop Read the Transcript | Download Video: mp4 (128MB) | mp3 (5MB) This video is also available with Arabic subtitles . Full transcript available ...
Thursday, March 19th, 2009 at 11:55 pm
A New Year, A New Beginning
President Obama released a special video message for all those celebrating Nowruz. Translated "New Day," Nowruz marks the arrival of spring and the beginning of the New Year for millions in Iran and other communities around the world. This year, the President wanted to send a special message to the people and government of Iran on Nowruz, acknowledging the strain in our relations over the last few decades. "But at this holiday we are reminded of the common humanity that binds us together," he says.
After committing his administration to a future of honest and respectful diplomacy, he continues on to address Iran's leaders directly: "You, too, have a choice. The United States wants the Islamic Republic of Iran to take its rightful place in the community of nations. You have that right -- but it comes with real responsibilities, and that place cannot be reached through terror or arms, but rather through peaceful actions that demonstrate the true greatness of the Iranian people and civilization. And the measure of that greatness is not the capacity to destroy, it is your demonstrated ability to build and create."
THE WHITE HOUSE
Office of the Press Secretary
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE March 20, 2009
VIDEOTAPED REMARKS BY THE PRESIDENT IN CELEBRATION OF NOWRUZ
THE PRESIDENT: Today I want to extend my very best wishes to all who are celebrating Nowruz around the world.
This holiday is both an ancient ritual and a moment of renewal, and I hope that you enjoy this special time of year with friends and family.
In particular, I would like to speak directly to the people and leaders of the Islamic Republic of Iran. Nowruz is just one part of your great and celebrated culture. Over many centuries your art, your music, literature and innovation have made the world a better and more beautiful place.
Here in the United States our own communities have been enhanced by the contributions of Iranian Americans. We know that you are a great civilization, and your accomplishments have earned the respect of the United States and the world.
For nearly three decades relations between our nations have been strained. But at this holiday we are reminded of the common humanity that binds us together. Indeed, you will be celebrating your New Year in much the same way that we Americans mark our holidays -- by gathering with friends and family, exchanging gifts and stories, and looking to the future with a renewed sense of hope.
Within these celebrations lies the promise of a new day, the promise of opportunity for our children, security for our families, progress for our communities, and peace between nations. Those are shared hopes, those are common dreams.
So in this season of new beginnings I would like to speak clearly to Iran's leaders. We have serious differences that have grown over time. My administration is now committed to diplomacy that addresses the full range of issues before us, and to pursuing constructive ties among the United States, Iran and the international community. This process will not be advanced by threats. We seek instead engagement that is honest and grounded in mutual respect.
You, too, have a choice. The United States wants the Islamic Republic of Iran to take its rightful place in the community of nations. You have that right -- but it comes with real responsibilities, and that place cannot be reached through terror or arms, but rather through peaceful actions that demonstrate the true greatness of the Iranian people and civilization. And the measure of that greatness is not the capacity to destroy, it is your demonstrated ability to build and create.
So on the occasion of your New Year, I want you, the people and leaders of Iran, to understand the future that we seek. It's a future with renewed exchanges among our people, and greater opportunities for partnership and commerce. It's a future where the old divisions are overcome, where you and all of your neighbors and the wider world can live in greater security and greater peace.
I know that this won't be reached easily. There are those who insist that we be defined by our differences. But let us remember the words that were written by the poet Saadi, so many years ago: "The children of Adam are limbs to each other, having been created of one essence."
With the coming of a new season, we're reminded of this precious humanity that we all share. And we can once again call upon this spirit as we seek the promise of a new beginning.
Thank you, and Eid-eh Shoma Mobarak.
سخنان پرزيدنت باراک اوباما
واشنگتن دی سی
امروز می خواهم بهترين آرزوهای خود را به همۀ کسانی که نوروز را در سرتاسر جهان جشن می گيرند تقديم کنم
اين جشن، هم يک آيين باستانی و هم زمانی برای بازآفرينی است و اميدوارم که شما از اين فرصت ويژۀ سال برای بودن در جمع دوستان و خانواده بهره گيريد.
من بويژه می خواهم به طور مستقيم با مردم و رهبران جمهوری اسلامی ايران صحبت کنم
نوروز تنها بخشی از فرهنگ نام آور شماست. هنر، موسيقی، ادبيات و نوآوری شما جهان را به دنيايی زيباتر و بهتر تبديل کرده است اينجا، در ايالات متحده، جامعه خود ما هم در پرتو سهمی که آمريکاييان ايرانی تبار ادا کرده اند پربارتر شده است ما از تمدن بزرگ شما آگاهيم دستاوردهای شما احترام ايالات متحده و جهان را برانگيخته است
برای مدتی نزديک به سه دهه روابط ميان دو کشور تيره و تار بوده است ولی اين جشن، ياد آوری برای
در بطن اين جشنها،نويدیبرایيکروزبهتر،اميدیبرایفرزندانما،امنيتبرایخانوادههایما،
پيشرفتبرایجوامعماوآشتیميانملتهانهفتهاست. اينهااميدواريهایمشترکند. اينهاروياهای مشترکند
فرا رسيدن يک فصل نو، اين انسانيت گرانبهاراکههمۀمادرآنمشترکيمبهمايادآوریمیکند. يکبار
For the millions of people who trace their heritage to Iran, Iraq, Afghanistan, Turkey, Pakistan, India, and Central Asia, Nowruz is a time to celebrate the New Year with the arrival of spring. This cherished and ancient festival brings together family and friends to reflect on what has come before and celebrate a season of new beginnings.
Our country is proud to be a land where individuals from many different cultures can pass their traditions on to future generations. The diversity of America brings joy to our citizens and strengthens our Nation during Nowruz and throughout the year.
Laura and I send our best wishes to all those celebrating Nowruz, both here in the United States and abroad. May the year ahead be filled with peace and many blessings.
GEORGE W. BUSH
A traditional Haft Sin table celebrating Nowruz, the Persian New Year, is seen set Wednesday, March 19, 2008, in the State Dining Room of the White House. Nowruz is, in Persian and some other cultures, including Kurdish culture, a family-oriented holiday celebrating the New Year and the coming of spring. The Haft Sin table has seven items symbolizing new life, joy, love, beauty and health, sunrise, patience and garlic to ward off evil.
White House photo by Chris Greenberg.
Mrs. Laura Bush welcomes guests to a tea Wednesday, March 19, 2008 in the State Dining Room at the White House, in honor of Nowruz, the Persian New Year celebration. A family-oriented holiday, Nowruz celebrates the Persian New Year and the coming of spring. White House photo by Patrick Tierney
Nowruz is an ancient celebration marking the arrival of the New Year. For millions of people around the world wh
o trace their heritage to Iran, Iraq, Afghanistan, Turkey, Pakistan, India, and Central Asia, Nowruz is a celebrati
on of life and an opportunity to express joy and happiness through visiting family and friends, exchanging gifts, a
nd enjoying the beauty of nature.
Our Nation is blessed by the traditions and contributions of Americans of many different backgrounds. Our divers
ity has made us stronger and better, and Laura and I send warm regards to all Americans celebrating Nowruz.
Best wishes for peace and prosperity in the New Year.
Many Americans who trace their heritage to Iran, Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Azerbaijan, Turkey, and Central Asia observe this special occasion to preserve their rich heritage and ensure that their values and traditions are passed on to future generations. This festival also reminds all Americans of the diversity that has made our Nation stronger and better.
Laura and I send our best wishes for peace and prosperity in the New Year.
I send greetings to Iranian Americans observing Nowruz, the
traditional Persian New Year.
Nowruz is a special time to celebrate with family and friends, honor
cultural heritage, and enjoy holiday traditions. It is also a time
to celebrate the arrival of spring in anticipation of the opportunities
of the new year.
During this joyous season, I encourage people of all faiths to pray for
peace and mutual understanding throughout the world. Laura joins me in
sending our best wishes for a joyous New Year filled with health and
I send greetings to Iranian Americans observing Nowruz.
During Nowruz, people of Iranian descent celebrate the arrival of spring, a season of rebirth. This joyous occasion provides an opportunity for Persians to cherish their rich heritage and enjoy the company of family and friends in anticipation of happiness and blessings in the year ahead.
This year's observance comes during a challenging time for our Nation and the world. As the international community works to face great challenges and embrace important opportunities, America remains committed to peace, justice, and opportunity for all people. Throughout this time of renewal, we remain dedicated to bringing hope and freedom to troubled regions around the world.
Laura joins me in sending our best wishes for a joyous celebration to you, your families, and your relatives and friends in Iran.
GEORGE W. BUSH, President of the United States of America
Statement from John Kerry on the Persian New Year
John Kerry Presidential Candidate
For Immediate Release ... Contact: Katharine Lister, 202-712-3000
March 18, 2004
Statement from John Kerry on the Persian New Year
On the occasion of Nowruz, the Persian New Year, I am delighted to
send a heartfelt Aideh Shoma Mobarak . Happy New Year to you . to
the Persian-American community.
Nowruz is a harbinger of renewal and regeneration, marking the
passage from the gray of winter to nature.s rebirth in spring. For
centuries, this has been a day to celebrate life with families and
friends, to give thanks for nature.s bounty, to reaffirm bonds of
family and friendship, and look forward to a future of hope, health,
We should take this opportunity to honor the contributions the
Persian-American community has made to our country. I hope your
celebration is joyous and this New Year brings you continued success..
Statement from Arnold Schwarzenegger on the Persian New Year
Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger
March 20, 2004
Persian New Year
I am please to offer warm greetings to all Californians celebrating
the Persian New Year, Norooz.
The Persian New Year is a distinctive cultural occasion in California
and around the world. It is a time to renew hopes, friendships and
resolutions as we leave winter behind and enter the spring season with
its promise of new life and rejuvenation.
I send my best wishes for a memorable celebration.