On March 20, President Joe Biden and top officials wished a happy Nowruz, the Persian New Year, to Iran and other countries celebrating the ancient holiday around the world. Biden, unlike his predecessors, Barack Obama and Donald Trump, did not use the occasion to comment on the state of U.S.-Iran relations or criticize the Islamic Republic’s government.
But Biden's special envoy for Iran, Rob Malley, expressed optimism for new diplomacy. “May this year lead Iran & the United States on a path to constructive engagement based on mutual interest, and may we strengthen the ties between the American and Iranian people,” he tweeted. In February, the United States had accepted an E.U. invitation to meet with Iran and the other five parties to the 2015 nuclear deal – Britain, China, France, Germany and Russia – to chart a way forward on Iran’s nuclear program. But Tehran rejected the meeting and once again demanded that Washington lift all sanctions imposed by the Trump administration between 2018 and 2021 as a precondition to roll back its breaches of the 2015 nuclear deal. The following are Nowruz messages from top U.S. officials.
President Joe Biden
Statement on March 20, 2021: "Spring is an eternal symbol of renewal and rebirth, with light and hope filling the hearts of people from the United States to Iran, Central Asia, the Caucuses, the Middle East, and Europe. That is the message and the joy of Nowruz that we are honoring with a Haft-Sin table in the White House. This year, perhaps more than ever, that message is badly needed. After all our pain and loss, we are reminded that better days lie ahead and that we all must work together to achieve a shared future of greater peace, prosperity, and understanding. As we continue to make progress against COVID-19, I hope that soon our virtual celebrations will return to the joy and community we feel gathering together with family and friends.
Spring is an eternal symbol of renewal and rebirth, with light and hope filling the hearts of people around the world—that’s the message and the joy of Nowruz that we're honoring with a Haft-Sin table in the White House.— The White House (@WhiteHouse) March 20, 2021
From President Biden and our Administration, happy Nowruz! pic.twitter.com/xGu7OroLrY
Secretary of State Antony Blinken
Statement on March 20, 2021: "On behalf of the State Department, I would like to extend my best wishes for a Happy Nowruz to everyone around the world who celebrates this festive occasion: from the people in Iran and the Middle East, to Europe, the Caucasus, Central and South Asia, and the Americas.
"Marking the first day of Spring, Nowruz is a time to gather with family and friends, enjoy dishes and treats representing the sweetness of life, and reflect on the year that has passed while looking forward to the blessings of the future. Not being able to be with loved ones is just one of the many challenges that we have all faced as a result of the pandemic. May the Nowruz spirit of rebirth and renewal guide us all to better days.
Special Envoy for Iran Robert Malley
Wishing all who are celebrating #Nowruz a year of health, hope & prosperity. May this year lead Iran & the United States on a path to constructive engagement based on mutual interest, and may we strengthen the ties between the American and Iranian people. Eid-eh Shoma Mobarak! pic.twitter.com/zD14MqLKHQ— Special Envoy for Iran Robert Malley (@USEnvoyIran) March 20, 2021
National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan
Tweet on March 20, 2021: "Happy Nowruz to the millions of people celebrating all over the world. After a year marked by pain and loss, I hope this new day brings health, happiness, and peace."