All nations’ festive occasions are a reminder of past glories and happy times. For us, the people of Iran, Nowrooz is that and more: It is a reminder of our national and historical identity; it connects our ancient heritage to today and the future, having endured through foreign attacks and domination of anti-Iranian orders; it is thus the mark of the continuity of our national history.
This year, Nowrooz comes under conditions where the anti-Iranian policies of the Islamic regime have brought our homeland to the edge of an abyss; a perilous precipice more terrifying than the war with Iraq, one which could destroy our economic life and national assets.
Desperate to find a diversion from its inability to provide welfare and tranquility, this regime may once again find war a godsend. We must ask however:
A regime which demoted our nation to the level of a submissive congregation, that derided our national rituals and reduced the status of our people, particularly women, to that of minors;
a regime that denies the legitimate rights of workers, teachers, farmers and other hardworking citizens, despite a five-fold increase in oil income, and, instead, spends our national income on terrorist organizations and state-sponsors of terrorism;
a regime that violently suppresses the most basic social rights (even the right to show our joy on national holidays and festivities such as Nowrooz and Chaharshanbeh Souri); a regime that has broken the limbs and pens of our great poets and writers;
is it not that regime’s only demonstrable talent to bellow “nuclear technology is our national right”? Whereas, the question it should be answering is why can it not secure that right?
There was a day when the United States of America, France and Germany were competing to sell their high technology nuclear reactors to Iran at the lowest price. Continuation of the conditions on that day would have provided Iran with 30 reactors by now. Instead, this regime has not managed to complete even one technologically backward reactor. What we see is a regime that continuously places Iran in a position where Iranians cannot reach their legitimate rights, or their most elementary needs.
My fellow Iranians,
Our country is at the crossroads of destiny. The slightest neglect will cause irreparable loss for our motherland. Our responsibility before history demands that we spare no effort to save our nation from the tyranny of this insane and inhuman regime. Differences of views and opinions between political leaders and organizations are natural in any open society. It is a fruitless exercise to argue and linger on these differences, however, while the people are forced out of the arena of decision, and there is no freedom of discussion or choice inside the country.
I earnestly hope that political leaders and organizations will be able to make freedom of expression, assembly and organization in Iran their priority for the New Year, and spare no effort to realize those goals.
We will then be able to end these years of darkness and herald the spring of freedom, opening the road to development and progress for our country.
In anticipation of that day, and with my best wishes for peace and prosperity of our nation, let me congratulate my fellow Iranians on the occasion of the ever-glorious Nowrooz.
May God bless Iran