Representatives from more than 20 countries are in Iran this week to celebrate the Nowruz festival, or 'Persian New Year.'

This is the second year the Islamic Republic has made an international event of one of the country's most important holidays.

Nowruz is celebrated by more than 300 million people worldwide. Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, the Iranian president, is using the occasion to forge stronger ties with countries such as Afghanistan, Iraq and Pakistan.

Some ultra-conservatives in the Islamic Republic want to ban Nowruz festivities because they say, they are un-Islamic. Nowruz predates Islam and was originally a Zoroastrian festival.

Al Jazeera's Dorsa Jabbari reports from Tehran, Iran.

Source: Al Jazeera