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Press Statement
Sean McCormack, Spokesman
Washington, DC
March 20, 2006


Nowruz Greetings

The United States would like to extend its warmest greetings to all who celebrate Nowruz, the Persian New Year.

Nowruz means "new day" and marks the beginning of spring. It is one of the oldest traditions in Iran, celebrating not only a renewal of nature, but also a renewal of friendships and the forging of new ones.

In celebrating this new day, we should be reminded of Iran's ancient civilization, which has a proud history of tolerance and respect for human rights. These values helped shape a nation that has been in the past at the forefront of the region's quest for democracy and freedom.

Today, Iranians continue to struggle for democracy, freedom and the rights denied them by an autocratic and repressive government. We salute the efforts of the many in Iran - women, students, journalists, and others - to secure their rights.

The people of the United States convey to all those who celebrate Nowruz our best wishes for a New Year filled with peace, prosperity, and understanding.

2006/284



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