The 2024 NCRI-US Nowruz Celebration

NCRI-US Holds Nowruz Celebration in Washington DC, Honors Governor Tom Ridge

By the NCRI-US Staff, March 28, 2024

WASHINGTON, DC, DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA , USA, March 28, 2024 — The National Council of Resistance of Iran, U.S. Representative Office (NCRI-US) hosted a joyous Nowruz celebration on March 22nd, 2024, to mark the Iranian New Year. The event featured a traditional Haftseen table, Persian music, and inspiring speeches in support of the Iranian people’s struggle for freedom and democracy.

During the event, Governor Tom Ridge, former Secretary of Homeland Security, was honored.

The event was attended by those associated with the U.S. Congress, the academic community, the Washington Diplomatic Corps, and the media.


The event commenced with Dr. Sofey Saidi, an NCRI Foreign Affairs Committee member, serving as the moderator. Her opening remarks emphasized the significance of Nowruz, which translates to “New Day.” She hoped that the year 1403 (March 20, 2024, to March 20, 2025) on the Persian calendar would mark a turning point for Iran, leading to the establishment of a free and democratic republic.


Mrs. Soona Samsami, NCRI Representative in the United States, delivered the keynote address. Reflecting on the monumental year for the Iranian people and the Resistance, she extended heartfelt wishes for freedom and democracy to all Iranians, emphasizing the remarkable milestones achieved by the Resistance despite immense challenges.

“Our resistance has achieved remarkable milestones despite facing immense challenges,” said Mrs. Samsami. “We have secured the support of 125 world leaders and over 3,600 parliamentarians from 41 countries, underscoring the legitimacy and universal appeal of NCRI President Maryam Rajavi’s 10-point Plan for a future Iran.”

She lauded the advancements made by the MEK-affiliated Resistance Units within Iran, crediting them as a beacon of hope in the face of regime oppression.

The low turnout for the recent Iranian parliamentary elections was hailed as a powerful symbol of defiance against the regime. Mrs. Samsami underscored the Iranian people’s unwavering desire for change, reflected in their chants against all forms of dictatorship.

The Iranian people’s unwavering rejection of any form of dictatorship, be it Monarchical or religious, has been powerfully reflected in their chants of “down with the oppressor, be it the Shah or the Leader (Khamenei),” Samsami said. It is for this reason that the struggle of the Iranian people to crush the head of the snake and free Iran has an enormous regional and global impact.

The NCRI representative in the U.S. concluded with Mrs. Rajavi’s Nowruz remarks, “Let us declare the upcoming year, the year of rebellion and uprising, in honor of the Iranian people’s democratic revolution and its ensuing triumph.”


An event highlight was the tribute to Governor Tom Ridge, the inaugural US Secretary of Homeland Security. Mr. Alireza Jafarzadeh, Deputy Director of NCRI-US, delivered a speech underscoring Governor Ridge’s steadfast backing of the Iranian Resistance.

“Governor Tom Ridge transcends politics,” said Jafarzadeh. “He is a paragon of principle, a beacon of hope, and a steadfast ally to those in need. His influence extends far beyond the corridors of power; it is etched in the annals of compassion and human rights advocacy.”

Jafarzadeh specifically recalled Governor Ridge’s 2010 call to revoke the “unjust and politically motivated terrorist designation” of the People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI/MEK). Jafarzadeh praised Governor Ridge’s integrity, principles, and unwavering commitment to human rights.

He acknowledged the former governor’s pivotal role in securing a sanctuary for the residents of Ashraf, who were ultimately resettled in Albania.

The ceremony concluded with a heartfelt expression of gratitude to Governor Ridge, who was in attendance along with the former first lady of Pennsylvania, Michele Ridge, for his courage, compassion, and relentless pursuit of justice, as he was given an award of appreciation.


The Nowruz event featured speeches from distinguished guests, including former US ambassadors and officials.

Ambassador Robert G. Joseph, Former Under Secretary of State for Arms Control and International Security, emphasized the importance of Nowruz in rededicating ourselves to the cause of freedom. He praised the resilience of the Iranian people and reaffirmed his support for their noble pursuit of liberty.

“Nowruz provides us with the opportunity to rededicate ourselves to the cause of freedom,” said Ambassador Joseph. “The symbols of Nowruz are the same symbols of the resistance, and the resistance will succeed.”

Ambassador Joseph expressed confidence in the ultimate success of the Resistance, citing strong leadership and the unwavering commitment and sacrifices of the Resistance Units inside Iran. He advocated for a clear policy of supporting the Iranian Resistance, highlighting their fight for a democratic, secular, and non-nuclear Iran.

The 2024 NCRI-US Nowruz CelebrationThe 2024 NCRI-US Nowruz Celebration
The 2024 NCRI-US Nowruz CelebrationThe 2024 NCRI-US Nowruz Celebration
The 2024 NCRI-US Nowruz CelebrationThe 2024 NCRI-US Nowruz Celebration
The 2024 NCRI-US Nowruz CelebrationThe 2024 NCRI-US Nowruz Celebration
The 2024 NCRI-US Nowruz CelebrationThe 2024 NCRI-US Nowruz Celebration
The 2024 NCRI-US Nowruz CelebrationThe 2024 NCRI-US Nowruz Celebration
The 2024 NCRI-US Nowruz CelebrationThe 2024 NCRI-US Nowruz Celebration

Ambassador Lincoln Bloomfield, Jr., former Assistant Secretary of State for Political-Military Affairs, offered a heartfelt message of solidarity with the Iranian people, the NCRI, and the residents of Ashraf 3. He commended the sacrifices made by those who have dedicated their lives to the cause of freedom in Iran.

Ambassador Bloomfield said, “My message of Nowruz in 1403 is to say thank you to the members of the NCRI and the MEK, to the Iranians who have opened their hearts, told us their stories and thoughts, and let us understand what it means to stand for principle and to put principle above personal advantage.”

“These are people who could be successful doctors, engineers, politicians…People ask, where does the money come from? Don’t ask. These are the leaders of American commerce and society all over the world. And yet, many of them have stood by their principles. They’ve endured hardships. They have suffered and lived a life of purpose,” Ambassador Bloomfield concluded.

Colonel Wesley Martin, a former senior US military officer, spoke highly of Governor Tom Ridge’s character and statesmanship. “I’ve been fortunate in my lifetime to work with some of the greatest men of America. Tom Ridge, you’re one of them. There is a saying that politicians worry about the next election; statesmen worry about the next generation. Tom, you’re a statesman.

Colonel Tom Cantwell, the first US commander stationed at Camp Ashraf in Iraq, recounted his positive experiences with members of the Mojahedin-e-Khalq, commending their discipline, integrity, and unwavering commitment to freedom.

“The MEK and the NCRI have a long legacy of their members dying in support of freedom. And a new generation in Iran is doing the same thing now. And as an American, I can tell you, we do not see this in the world media… It is the quietest revolution ever…And I will not let your sacrifice go without remembering and honoring it,” Mr. Cantwell said.

Mrs. Linda Chavez, Former Director of the Office of Public Liaison in the White House, said, “It’s always a great honor and a privilege to be with the NCRI…I’ve been involved in this for three decades…because you keep hope alive…Because Nowruz does represent, in many ways, a kind of rebirth. That rebirth is also embodied in the NCRI.”

Mrs. Chavez added, “Madame Rajavi has represented the best hope for that freedom for a long time now.”

Ambassador Joseph DeTrani, Former Director of the National Counterproliferation Center and Special Adviser to the Director of National Intelligence, reiterated the need for regime change in Iran and expressed gratitude to NCRI for amplifying the voices of the Iranian people.


A group of American students studying international affairs and political science at various universities in Washington, D.C., delivered a powerful message supporting the Iranian uprising. They acknowledged the bravery and resilience of the Iranian people, particularly the youth, who risked their lives for a better future.

“These are people our age and younger, sacrificing themselves and their lives for the greater good of their nation with tremendous bravery and courage that leave us in awe. Their contributions inspire us to work harder in our own efforts, connecting us in an unbreakable bond even as we reside in different parts of the world,” the students said.

The American students pledged their unwavering support for the Iranian people’s struggle and vowed to amplify their voices on the international stage. They expressed their belief in the NCRI’s role in facilitating international support for a free republic nation that represents the people.


The NCRI-US Nowruz celebration showcased the unwavering spirit of the Iranian people and the growing international support for their cause. The event highlighted the NCRI’s role in promoting democratic ideals and its commitment to achieving a free and prosperous Iran.

The event concluded with gratitude and hope for a brighter future for Iran, with attendees expressing their commitment to supporting the Iranian Resistance in its quest for democracy and human rights.

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