Iran greets New Year with cannon fire
IRAN: Iran ushered in its Persian New Year on Tuesday with a symbolic
cannon blast from its flagship destroyer, and speeches from leaders
vowing to fix the country’s economy.
The shell shot from the warship Jamaran and the speeches, broadcast
on state television, underlined the defiance of Iran as it confronts the
West in a hardening showdown over its nuclear programme.
If Iran boosts its economy, “the enemy (the West) will despair and
its efforts to plot and conspire against us will end,” supreme leader
Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said.
The previous 12 months, he said, saw a lot of events in the Middle
East, such as the fall of Arab dictators and rise of Islamic
“That turned out to favour the Iranian nation” and “dealt many
problems to the West,” he asserted. “The number one enemy to Iran and
the Islamic world, the Zionist regime (Israel), is surrounded,” Khamenei
President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, speaking separately, said his
government was working to right the Iranian economy by increasing gross
domestic production and investment.
“My government stands by all Iranians, in good times and in bad,” he
Iran’s calendar year runs from mid-March to mid-March. The new year
-- Nowrouz in Farsi -- marks the transition from winter to spring.