The IDF's Nowruz greeting in Farsi. (Twitter/Screenshot) (Twitter/Screenshot)
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“We bless the IDF spokesman and hope that we Iranians may have a year without the Islamic Republic.”

By Pesach Benson, United With Israel

IDF Spokesman Brig. Gen. Ran Kochav received a pleasant surprise after posting Persian new year greetings to the people of Iran on social media.

Nowruz, the spring equinox, marks the beginning of a new year on the Persian calendar.

Posting on the IDF’s Farsi language Twitter and Instagram accounts on Sunday, Kochav wrote, “Happy Nowruz! I hope this blessing will come to every Iranian, whether young or old, religious or secular, male or female, and whether they live in Iran or have left it involuntarily.”

“Our peoples and our countries have a lot in common. Unfortunately, the Iranian regime hides it from you,” Kochav added. “I wish the people of Iran a new spring of hope and respect. Missiles and drones will not solve the acute water crisis in the country, just as enriched uranium will not be able to feed any starving child in Iran.”

The Instagram account has more than 40,000 followers while the Twitter account has over 17,000. The Instagram post was liked more than 22,000 times and received more than 1,700 comments.

While quite a few responses called for “death to Israel,” others were surprisingly friendly.

One user wrote, “The Iranian and Israeli nations are brothers and sisters,” while another wrote, “Long live Iran, long live Israel.”

One Iranian woman replied, “We bless the IDF spokesman and hope that we Iranians may have a year without the Islamic Republic.” Her tweet included an emoji of an Israeli flag.

Another pressed the IDF to “tear the [Iranian] religious people into shreds.”

Kochav also posted a second, shorter greeting on Monday.

Prime Minister Naftali Bennett also posted a video on Sunday wishing Iranians a happy new year. That video was posted on the Prime Minister’s English-language YouTube channel.

“I wish you a happy new year – a year of health, prosperity and peace. Nowruz literally means ‘new day.’ And that’s my greatest wish to you, the Iranian people: That you will see a new day – a day of freedom from the cruel Iranian regime,” Bennett said in English.

“May we see a ‘new day,’ where we defeat the forces of darkness with the strength of our friendship and our pursuit of freedom. I hope this new year will free the Iranian people from the shackles of oppression of the Iranian regime.”

According to Israel’s Central Bureau of Statistics, 135,000 Jews of Iranian descent live in Israel today.