On March 20, President Joe Biden and top officials wished a happy Nowruz, the Persian New year, to Iranians and others 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 hostage affairs, Roger Carstens, used the holiday to call for the release of four U.S. citizens detained in Iran. “We are thinking of Baquer and Siamak Namazi, Emad Shargi, and Morad Tahbaz (also a UK citizen), who should be able to celebrate #Nowruz in freedom and surrounded by their loved ones,” he tweeted. Iran charged the four men, all dual U.S.-Iranian citizens, with espionage. The United States has maintained that they have not committed any crimes. The following are Nowruz messages from top U.S. officials.
President Joe Biden
Jill and I want to extend our best wishes to all who are celebrating Nowruz around the world. The Nowruz holiday means gathering at the Nowruz table to give thanks for loved ones, reflect on your blessings, and welcome all the possibilities of a new season. Happy Nowruz!— President Biden (@POTUS) March 20, 2022
Statement on March 20, 2021: Jill and I extend our best wishes to all who are celebrating Nowruz in the United States and around the world today — including in Iran and across the Middle East, in Central and South Asia, in the Caucuses, and in Europe.
The Nowruz holiday brings family and friends together around the table to give thanks for loved ones, count our blessings, share meals and gifts, reflect on the year that has passed, and welcome the arrival of spring and the possibilities of a new season. That spirit of new beginnings and the joy of Nowruz is reflected in our own Haft-Sin table at the White House, representing our hopes for the new year. It is a recognition and celebration of the vibrant cultures and friendships of our many diaspora communities in America who make extraordinary contributions and strengthen the fabric of our nation every day. To everyone celebrating, Eid-eh Shoma Mobarak — we wish you a Happy Nowruz.
Secretary of State Antony Blinken
Wishing a #HappyNowruz to all our friends across the world celebrating and welcoming Spring. May you all have a healthy and joyous new year ahead, filled with hope and renewal. pic.twitter.com/fD1ps6u95K— Secretary Antony Blinken (@SecBlinken) March 20, 2022
On behalf of the State Department, I wish a Happy Nowruz to all those celebrating around the world. Whether in the United States, Iran, the broader Middle East, Central and South Asia, Europe, or elsewhere throughout the globe, we hope this new day brings health, happiness, and time to renew meaningful connections with friends and loved ones.
Gathering with family and friends, decorating the Haft-Sin, and sharing meals or treats like the Haft Mewa are just part of the many traditions from around the world that make this holiday special. While the global pandemic has made it more difficult to celebrate these customs, we hope this year will bring better global health in the days ahead.
May we all be rejuvenated by the sustenance the spring season provides. Nowruzetoon Pirouz! Nowruz Mubarak!
Special Envoy for Hostage Affairs Roger Carstens
We are thinking of Baquer and Siamak Namazi, Emad Shargi, and Morad Tahbaz (also a UK citizen), who should be able to celebrate #Nowruz in freedom and surrounded by their loved ones. pic.twitter.com/ZyYirwILsJ— U.S. Special Presidential Envoy Roger D. Carstens (@StateSPEHA) March 20, 2022
Special Envoy for Iran Robert Malley
Department of State
Happy #Nowruz! Today we extend greetings to all those celebrating this joyous occasion to mark the arrival of Spring and a new year. May this time of reflection bring brighter days. pic.twitter.com/WoUQOtYeHx— Department of State (@StateDept) March 20, 2022