RNA - In a post on his official Twitter account on Monday, Zarif hoped for “a happy, healthy and peaceful New Year.”
The top diplomat prayed that no innocent man, woman or child would lose their lives to hunger, conflict and terror this year.
Wishing everyone across the globe - from all races, religions and ethnicities - a happy, healthy and peaceful New Year. Let us all resolve to ensure that no innocent man, woman or child is killed or starved due to conflict, terror, aggression and coercion in 2019.
— Javad Zarif (@JZarif) December 31, 2018
Earlier in the day, President Hassan Rouhani, in separate congratulatory messages addressed to world leaders as well as Iranian Christians, expressed hope that the world would be witness to increased welfare and prosperity through collective efforts.
He also met with the families of Iranian Armenian martyr Alfred Gabri and war veteran Hasou Keshish Danilian on New Year’s Eve.
The Iranian president appreciated Gabri’s parents for their patience and sacrifices, and hailed Armenian Iranians for their contributions to preserving national security.
“Today, they are prepared for even [more] sacrifices and this is highly admirable."
At Danilian’s house, Rouhani said that Muslims consider Jesus Christ and Saint Mary as great divine figures, and hailed the braveries of Armenians -- who constitute Iran's largest religious minority -- both prior to the 1979 Islamic Revolution and during the 1980-88 war imposed by the ex-Iraqi regime on Iran.
According to Press TV, Iran is home between to 300,000 and 500,000 Christians, primarily of Armenian and Assyrian descent. The Christian minority has its own representatives at the Iranian parliament (Majlis), who enjoy equal rights with their fellow Muslim lawmakers.
On the eve of the New Year, streets in Christian neighborhoods in central Tehran are filled up by the people doing Christmas shopping. In a predominantly Muslim Iran, Armenian Christians represent one percent of the population. The majority of Christians live in Tehran. #Iran pic.twitter.com/23hC05OjTp
— BusinessCentralAsia (@BCAmagazine) December 30, 2018
On Tuesday, Bishop Sipan Kashjian, the religious leader for Armenians in Isfahan and southern Iran, stressed that followers of divine religions enjoy freedom in Iran.
“Contrary to Western media propaganda, the followers of religions in Iran have complete freedom and freely perform their rituals and organize their events,” he said.
“I hope that in the New Year, the world's people would make more informed judgements about Iran,” he added.