I am delighted to join President Obama in wishing a happy, healthy, and prosperous Nowruz to all our friends around the world who celebrate this holiday. As Americans, we rejoice along with all those from the Islamic Republic of Iran to Central Asia to the Caucasus to communities here in the United States, who come together to celebrate the arrival of Spring and a new year.
Nowruz is a time of renewal and reconciliation – a chance for families to celebrate their heritage and culture; reflect on the past twelve months; and look forward to the year ahead.
For those of us in the United States, this day is an opportunity to recognize the contributions of hundreds of thousands of Iranian Americans, who have made their mark in business, public service, law, medicine, research, music, and more.
For the people of Iran, we hope this Nowruz will prove the start of a better future, defined by greater opportunity at home, increased engagement with the international community, and access to the same rights and freedoms enjoyed by others across the globe.
Looking back, this was a year of unprecedented diplomatic progress that reduced the risk of conflict. Along with our international partners, we reached and successfully implemented the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) which will ensure Iran’s nuclear program is exclusively peaceful, in exchange for the lifting of nuclear-related sanctions.
Every new year, and every spring should commence in hope. It is in that spirit that we embrace this day knowing that, even as stark differences remain between the governments of the United States and Iran, friendship between our peoples remains a goal well worth pursuing. Saleh No Mobarak!