I send my warmest wishes to those in the United States and around the world observing the ancient holiday of Nowruz.

Nowruz is a special time of thanksgiving and celebration for many across western and central Asia, and especially in Iran, to gather and reflect on the blessings of the previous year as they prepare with a renewed spirit of optimism for the coming of spring.

Sadly, the Iranian people are once again unable to share fully in the joy of this occasion.  This year, as they have each year for the past four decades, they mark the arrival of spring under the heavy burden of the oppression of their country’s ruthless and corrupt regime.

The Iranian people desire to reclaim their country’s proud history, expressive culture, and rightful place on the world stage.  They deserve a government that is accountable to them and that treats them with dignity and respect.  The Iranian regime, however, rejects these principles.  As a result, everyday life for the people of Iran is tragically at odds with the true meaning of Nowruz, which is Farsi for “new day” and carries tremendous hope for a day when good triumphs over evil and sorrow gives way to joy.

In solidarity with the people of Iran, who yearn for a future of liberty, opportunity, and prosperity, the United States of America continues to condemn the dictatorial Iranian regime.  We pledge never to turn a deaf ear to the calls of the Iranian people for freedom, and we will never forget their ongoing struggle for human rights.

I join people around the world in celebrating Nowruz and in praying for the rebirth of liberty in Iran.  Freedom and justice will one day prevail over tyranny.

Nowruz Pirouz – Happy Nowruz.