London, 28 March - On Nowruz, the first day of the Persian new year as well as the vernal equinox, the Supreme Leader’s annual address focused on foreign policy, and a call for Iran to develop its non-oil economy.
This speech, delivered in Mashhad, is believed to carry more significance than any other. This year, it offered little hope regarding the country’s economic suffering.
Because of its Zoroastrian roots, the clerical orthodoxy is historically hostile to the Nowruz festival. Ruhollah Khomeini, the Islamic Republic’s founding leader, never so much as used the word “Nowruz” in his annual address.