Iranian President Hassan Rouhani says the Persian New Year or Norooz carries the message of peace and coexistence, stressing that the occasion should be seized to strengthen friendship among neighboring states.
"Norooz is the festival of moderation and the most ancient dynamic tradition in our common history," Rouhani said in separate messages to his counterparts from nine regional countries on the occasion of the New Year.
He added that the tradition of Norooz helps the regional countries enhance friendly relations and peaceful coexistence, especially under the climate created by the historic nuclear agreement that led to the removal of anti-Iran sanctions.
Iran and the P5+1 group of countries - Russia, China, France, Britain, and the US plus Germany -- signed the nuclear accord, dubbed the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), last July.
After the JCPOA's implementation on January 16, all nuclear-related sanctions imposed on Iran by the European Union, the Security Council and the US were lifted. Iran, in return, has put some limitations on its nuclear activities.
People in Shiraz mark the beginning of new year at the tomb of revered Persian poet Hafez
The Iranian president further expressed hope that the new year would be full of prosperity and happiness for the nine Asian nations marking Norooz.
Millions of people in Iran and several other countries are celebrating the Persian New Year or Norooz, which marks the advent of spring.
In harmony with the rebirth of nature, the Norooz festivities always begin on the first day of spring, which has fallen on March 20 this year.
Along with Iranians, millions of others in countries such as Armenia, Afghanistan, Azerbaijan, Tajikistan, Pakistan, Turkmenistan, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan and Turkey also celebrate Norooz.
Photos: Norooz celebration at the Kurdish village of Balak in Marivan, Western Iran
(photos by Islamic Republic News Agency)
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