Supreme Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei has said that the recognition of Norouz as an international day by the United Nation has provided an opportunity for transfer of cultural values from the East to the West.
The Supreme Leader made the remarks on Saturday in a meeting with the presidents of Iraq, Afghanistan, Tajikistan and Turkmenistan who had visited Iran to participate in the ancient Persian New Year (Norouz) festivities.
The Presidents (from left): Emomali Rahmon (Tajikestan), Hamid Karzai (Afghanistan), Mohmoud Ahmadinejad (Iran), Jalal Talebani (Iraq) and Kurbanguly Berdymukhamed (Turkmanistan) - The four presidents travelled in Tehran to attend the ancient Persian New Year (Norouz) festivities held for the first time as the United Nations recognized Norouz as an international day on February 23, 2010.
Photos Five presidents celebrate Persian New Year in Tehran
The Leader said Norouz carries distinguished values spiritually, nationally, and internationally. "Norouz is the symbol of newness, freshness, youngness, delight, and happiness, and (the time for) strengthening affectionate relations between friends."
He said though Norouz is a national celebration and does not fall within religious festivities it has been praised in different narratives.
The Leader also said Norouz can provide an opportunity for closer ties between regional nations and governments.
The Islamic Republic welcomes a strengthening of relations with neighborly and regional countries which share cultural affinities with Iran, the Leader insisted.
Speaking at the meeting, President Ahmadinejad described boosting constructive cooperation between regional nations as the main reason behind holding the international Norouz celebrations in Tehran.
Ahmadinejad also said Norouz sends the message of "peace, justice and friendship" to the world.
The Iranian president said it was agreed that a Norouz summit to be held in one of the countries in which Norouz is marked.
President Hamid Karzai of Afghanistan also expressed hope that Norouz reinforce friendly ties between regional countries.
Tajik President Emomali Rahmon also called Iran the home of Norouz festivities and said at a time that there are various cultural invasions the registration of Norouz as an international day was a very important event.
Turkmen President Kurbanguly Berdymukhamed also said Norouz is the great festivity of regional people and the Azeri foreign minister who had also participated in Norouz celebrations in Tehran cited the international registration of Norouz as an important event.
Iraqi President Jalal Talabani also highlighted the importance of Norouz and thanked Iran for being on the side of Iraqis in difficult days.
Information about Norouz
and events across the globe
Persian New Year 1389
Photos Five presidents
celebrate Persian New Year in Tehran
Photos Cooking Samanoo for Norouz
US House of Representatives Passes Historic Norooz Resolution
Photos: Chaharshanbeh-Suri in Horand, Iran's East Azerbaijan Province
Photos- Shopping for the Persian New Year - part II
Norouz national festival held in Tehran
Photos- Cleaning the House to Greet Norouz
Photos- Shopping for the Persian New Year
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