Unlike their predecessors, the US President and Secretary of State this year made no mention of Iran or the aspirations of Iranians in their Noruz messages.

In their messages, President Joe Biden and Secretary of State Antony Blinken made no mention of politics and the hostilities that have persisted for over four decades between the US and the Islamic Republic.

The White House omitted any reference to Iran at a time of sensitive negotiations to revive the 2015 nuclear deal, while a reference to freedoms and human rights was customary in previous presidential Noruz (Nowruz) messages going back to former President Barack Obama and George W Buch.

Former President Donald Trump was more direct in his messages. In 2019, he expressed dismay that the Iranian people were "unable to share fully in the joy" of the occasion and they marked the arrival of spring "under the heavy burden of the oppression of their country’s ruthless and corrupt regime.”

"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," Trump told Iranians.

Referring to the literal translation of Noruz as "new day" in his message this year, the Trump Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said he prayed that a "new day", presumably regime change, for Iranians "was not far".

US Special Presidential Envoy for Hostage Affairs Roger Carstens, however, raised the issue of American citizens held in Iran in his message. Carstens said in a tweet that Baquer (Bagher) Namazi and his son Siamak Namazi, Emad Shargi (Sharghi), and Morad Tahbaz (also a UK citizen) should have been able to celebrate Noruz "in freedom and surrounded by their loved ones.”

Iranian authorities have accused the detainees, American-Iranian dual nationals, of espionage and other security related crimes and sentenced them in unfair trials without due process of law. The US says they should be freed if an agreement is reached to restore the 2015 nuclear deal between Iran and world powers, the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) but Iran insists that their case is separate from the nuclear talks.

Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennet's Noruz message was also politically charged and highlighted "regime change" in Iran. In a video message in English sent to Iran International TV, Bennett said he hoped Iranian and Israeli people could restore the centuries-old friendship between Jews and Iranians "in a near future" and there would be "a change in the terrible Iranian regime".

Bennett said Israel knows the vast majority of Iranians oppose the policies of “the ayatollah regime”, which spends money on “missiles, terror” rather than on their children and on education and added that he hopes there would be peace "in a short time".

The message from London, by Prime Minister Boris Johnson, was also devoid of any reference to Iran or Iranians. Instead, in a tweet Johnson mentioned "Afghan friends marking their first Nowruz here in the UK."

Without any mention of politics, the Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau in his statement on Noruz and video message spoke of Noruz as a cultural event celebrated by over 300 million people around the world, including Iranian, Afghan, Kurdish and Central Asian ethnic groups as well as Zoroastrian, Baha’i, and Ismaili religious communities and the importance of the contributions that they make to Canada.

IITV News (12) - DC - Repeat
Emrouz
IITV News (24) - DC

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