Bush, Powell Extend Nowruz Wishes to Iranian People

(Powell voices hope for closer people-to-people ties)

President Bush and Secretary of State Colin Powell have extended their best wishes to the Iranian people and people of Iranian descent on the occasion of Nowruz, the Persian New Year.

In a statement released March 20, Bush noted the achievements of Iranian-Americans in arts, education, industry and science.

"From arts and education to industry and science, Iranian Americans have made significant and enduring contributions to the cultural and civic life of our Nation," Bush said.

In a separate statement, Powell said the season of Nowruz is "a celebration of renewal and an opportunity to look to the future," and hoped that the celebration "heralds a year that will bring the Iranian people and the American people closer together."

Following are the texts of Bush's and Powell's statements in celebration of Nowruz:

THE WHITE HOUSE
Office of the Press Secretary
March 20, 2002

STATEMENT BY THE PRESIDENT

I send warm greetings to Iranian Americans and the Iranian people observing Nowruz, the traditional Persian New Year.

This year's observance occurs at a time when our Nation is united in its determination to make the world safe from terrorism. The community of more than one million Iranian Americans has fully participated in this noble endeavor by condemning the terrorist acts, participating in rescue efforts at ground zero, and offering help and support to the victims, who included individuals of Persian heritage.

From arts and education to industry and science, Iranian Americans have made significant and enduring contributions to the cultural and civic life of our Nation. Your observance of the traditional Persian New Year honors an ancient and storied history and marks a time of renewal. As the season changes, may your observance of Nowruz serve as a special time for you to reflect on your rich heritage and to enjoy the company of family and friends.


U.S. DEPARTMENT OF STATE
Office of the Spokesman
March 20, 2002

STATEMENT BY SECRETARY OF STATE COLIN L. POWELL

In Celebration of Nowruz, the Iranian New Year

With the cold winter months giving way to the rebirth of spring, Iranians around the world will gather to celebrate Nowruz, the Persian New Year. Nowruz is a celebration of renewal and an opportunity to look to the future. For thousands of years, the people of Persia have celebrated this important holiday, regardless of religious background or affiliation, and the tradition of bringing family and friends together for joyous celebrations to mark the start of a new season and a new year. As people of Iranian heritage the world over mark this occasion, I extend my best wishes for the new year and my hope that this Nowruz heralds a year that will bring the Iranian people and the American people closer together.

Nowruz Mobarak.

(Distributed by the Office of International Information Programs, U.S. Department of State. Web site: http://usinfo.state.gov)





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