U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is marking the start of the Persian New Year this week by sending the people of Iran the United States' best wishes.
In a statement, Clinton said, "The people of the United States join you in welcoming the opportunities of this New Year and the possibilities for strengthening ties of family and friends."
She added, "And as we face new challenges, we remain committed to our support for universal human rights and the freedom of expression -- rights that promote peace and progress."
Israeli President Shimon Peres also sent Iran his wishes for "peace and coexistence" in a rare show of conciliation at a time of high tensions between the two countries over Iran's suspect nuclear program.
With reporting by AP