Iran’s Foreign Ministry Spokesman Ramin Mehmanparast has underscored Iran’s determination to prove its regional clout in the new Persian calendar year (started on March 20, 2013).
“By managing the regional developments during the year 1392, we will show that our nation assumes the biggest role in the regional and international peace and security and it has turned into a major regional power,” Mehmanparast said in a Wednesday TV interview.Mehmanparast pointed to Iran’s diplomatic achievements during the past Iranian years, saying, “Our foreign policy succeeded to neutralize the schemes aimed at isolating our country. In some cases Iran turned into a hub for consultations and we enhanced our relations with the countries which are internationally influential.” The Foreign Ministry spokesman pointed to Iran’s successful hosting of the 16th summit of the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) in Tehran in August, 2012, as an outstanding example of the Islamic Republic’s diplomatic achievements in the past year. During the summit, Iran also assumed the rotating presidency of NAM for a three-year term. Mehmanparast pointed to UN’s initiative to name March 20th as the International Norouz Day and expressed hope that the West will respect the cultures of the other countries and Norouz occasion will turn into an opportunity for strengthening friendships and ending estrangements. Norouz (new day), which coincides with the first day of spring on the solar calendar, is mostly celebrated in Iran, Afghanistan, Azerbaijan, India, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Pakistan, Turkey and Uzbekistan. ASH/MA