Heydar Moslehi

Iranian Intelligence Minister Heydar Moslehi says Iran can use the international celebration of Norooz to work toward tong-term goals.

He told the Norooz International Celebrations’ website: “Enemies have always tried to destroy the customs and traditions of other countries and, to this end, they often invest in celebration of Christmas and fabricated customs in various countries.”

Iran’s minister of culture has announced that the world celebration of Norooz will be held on March 27 and 28 in Tehran.

Earlier plans to celebrate it in Persepolis in Shiraz, at the ruins of the Achaemenid Kings palace, met with fierce resistance from the local Revolutionary Guards and members of the clergy.

Reports say the presidents of Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Afghanistan, Armenia and Iraq will participate in the Tehran celebrations. Representatives from Kyrgyzstan, Qatar, Oman and Azerbaijan will also attend.

In 2010, the United Nations General Assembly recognized March 21 as the International Day of Norooz describing it as a festival with Iranian roots that has been celebrated for over 3,000 years.

More than 300 million people celebrate Norooz around the world, and in Iran and Afghanistan, Norooz is also the first day of the year.

In 2009, UNESCO officially registered Norooz as part of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity.