Biden on Iran at Nowruz

President Biden marked the beginning of Nowruz, the Persian new year, on March 19, 2024 with a pledge that the United States and its allies “will hold Iranian officials to account for denying fundamental human rights.” Biden has been particularly critical of Tehran’s crackdown on thousands of protesters over issues of personal and political rights after the death in detention of Mahsa Amini for improper hijab, or head-covering, in 2022. The White House has created its own Haft Sin table, which traditionally includes seven items beginning with the letter “S.” For millennia, Nowruz has marked the beginning of spring and the rebirth of nature. It is celebrated for 13 days. 

The deputy special envoy for Iran also criticized the Islamic Republic for the poor treatment of its people. The “regime continues to squander this human potential through corruption and mismanagement,” Abram Paley said in a video with Persian subtitles. He pledged U.S. support for Iranians in their “aspirations for a free and democratic Iran.” The following are statements from U.S. officials marking Nowruz. 


Statement from President Joe Biden Marking Nowruz

"Today, Jill and I send our best wishes to the millions of people around the world celebrating Nowruz—a time of reflection, renewal, and rebirth.

"Generations of Americans have spread the hope of this holiday across every part of our nation. We see it in the pastries and presents exchanged between family and friends. We hear it in the sound of children banging pots, and in the laughs of families who’ve come together around the Haft-Sin table. And we feel it as communities gather to make this celebration such a joyous part of American culture—one that reflects the soul of who we are as a nation, and reminds us that hope lies ahead.

"This year, Nowruz comes at a difficult time for many—when this hope is needed more than ever. The United States will continue to stand with the courageous women of Iran, who are fighting for their freedoms. And together with our partners, we will hold Iranian officials to account for denying fundamental human rights. The war in Gaza has also inflicted terrible suffering on the Palestinian people, and we will continue to lead international efforts to get more humanitarian assistance to them—including urgently needed food, water, medicine and shelter.

"We have decorated our Haft-Sin table at the White House to reflect our hopes, and the potential and promise of the new year. And, as we mark the start of Spring, we honor the diverse diaspora communities across our nation, who have adapted old traditions anew to tell the ongoing story of America. To all who celebrate: Eid-eh Shoma Mobarak—we wish you a peaceful and joyous new year.


Secretary of State Antony Blinken

"On behalf of the State Department, I wish a Happy Nowruz to everyone celebrating this ancient tradition and the arrival of Spring. 

"For centuries, communities around the world, including in Iran and the Middle East, Central and South Asia, Europe and beyond have gathered to celebrate the renewal of nature and the promise of a new year.  Nowruz provides an opportunity to renew meaningful relationships, appreciate blessings, and look forward to opportunities the future brings. 

"As we reflect on this past year, we hope that this new year brings greater peace in the world, along with health, prosperity, and joy."


Deputy Special Envoy for Iran Abram Paley

"Today, on behalf of the U.S. government, I want to wish the people of Iran a happy Nowruz. Nowruz should be a time to celebrate the new year, to reflect on the year that has passed, and to honor Persian history and culture. And, indeed, the Iranian people have much to be proud of, and they have untold potential. Iran has been blessed with tremendous natural resources and human talent -- educated, ambitious, intelligent young people. But unfortunately, the Iranian regime continues to squander this human potential through corruption and mismanagement. As you celebrate Nowruz and the coming of spring, we look forward to the day when the people of Iran have a government that works for them. In the meantime, the United States will continue to support you in your aspirations for a free and democratic Iran. Happy Nowruz."