Saturday, February 23, 2019 | ePaper

Iran slams US as huge crowds mark 40 years since revolution

  • Print


Iranian President Hassan Rouhani on February 11, delivers a speech at Azadi Square in the capital Tehran during a ceremony to mark the 39th anniversary of the Islamic Revolution

AFP :
Iran's president on Monday blasted a US "conspiracy" against the country as vast crowds marked 40 years since the Islamic revolution at a time of heightened tensions with Washington.
"The presence of people today on the streets all over Islamic Iran... means that the enemy will never reach its evil objectives," President Hassan Rouhani told those thronging Tehran's Azadi (Freedom) square.
Chador-clad women, militia members in camouflage fatigues and ordinary citizens marched through the capital in freezing rain to mark the day in February 1979 that Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini ended millenia of royal rule.
Life-size replicas of Iranian-made cruise and ballistic missiles lined the route in a statement of defiance after Washington last year reimposed sanctions after pulling out of a deal on Tehran's nuclear programme.
A pre-prepared resolution was read out that proclaimed "unquestioning obedience to the supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei" and called US President Donald Trump an "idiot".
The event Monday was the culmination of official celebrations called the "10 Day Dawn" that mark the period between February 1, 1979 and February 11 when Shiite cleric Khomeini retuned from exile and ousted the shah's last government.
The state has played up this year's anniversary as 40 is symbolic of maturity in the Islamic tradition and the age at which Prophet Mohammed received revelations from God.
But despite the official festivities today's Islamic republic faces acute economic challenges as it struggles with a mix of domestic hardships and US sanctions.
State television offered blanket coverage of the commemorations, showing marchers in cities ranging from Abadan in southwestern Iran to Mashad in the northeast.
Banners held by marchers or hung along the streets bore slogans including "Death to America", "Death to Israel", "we will trample on America", "forty yeas of challenge, forty years of US defeats".
An anchor on state television warned of hostile foreign media trying to downplay the participation of Iranians in the march but expressed confidence that "they would be confounded by the unprecedented level of attendance".
Those who took to the streets were bullish despite the economic problems in the country, made worse by Washington's punitive measures.
Former public servant Saaghi insisted that it remained paramount for Iranians to stick by the revolution.
"We are here to support the revolution," the 57-year-old pensioner, who refused to give his first name, told AFP at the event in Tehran.
He compared the US sanctions and economic hardships to "riding a bicycle when someone puts a stick in the wheels" but pointed to advances in other fields as more than making up for them.
"At the revolution's 40 anniversary we are on top of scientific achievements like nanotechnology or accurate missiles," he said.
Extensive fireworks displays were held across Tehran on Sunday night.
Before the fireworks, supporters of the revolution shouted chants of "Allahu Akbar" (God is greatest) from rooftops, recalling the protests that swept Khomeini to power four decades earlier.
Current supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei is set to publish "a detailed statement explaining the 'second step' of the progress of the Islamic revolution", his official website said.

More News For this Category

North Korea warns of food crisis, slashes rations ahead of summit

North Korea warns of food crisis, slashes rations ahead of summit

Reuters, United Nations :North Korea has warned that it is facing a food shortfall of some 1.4 million tons in 2019 and has been forced to almost halve rations,

200 US troops to remain in Syria after pullout: White House

200 US troops to remain in Syria after pullout: White House

PTI, Washington :The US military will keep around 200 troops in Syria after President Donald Trump's pullout from the war-torn country, the White House said on Thursday."A small peace-keeping

‘Extinct’ Galapagos tortoise found after 100 years

‘Extinct’ Galapagos tortoise found after 100 years

AFP, Washington :A living member of a species of giant tortoise long thought to be extinct has been discovered on the Galapagos island of Ferdinandina.The last known time a

Maduro starts shutting borders to block humanitarian aid

Maduro starts shutting borders to block humanitarian aid

Reuters, Caracas :Venezuela President Nicolas Maduro threatened to close the border with Colombia on Thursday as opposition leader Juan Guaido and some 80 lawmakers ran a gauntlet of roadblocks

News In Brief

Netanyahu-Putin to meet on WednesdayAFP, Jerusalem Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will visit Russia on Wednesday for talks with President Vladimir Putin that had been scheduled for this week,

India's top court orders protection for Kashmiris

India's top court orders protection for Kashmiris

AFP, New Delhi :India's Supreme Court on Friday ordered bolstered protection for Kashmiris who have faced a violent backlash from a suicide bombing in the troubled territory that killed

News In Brief

Pak Provincial Assembly Speaker arrested AP, Islamabad  Pakistan's anti-corruption body says it has arrested the speaker of a provincial assembly and member of an opposition party headed by former President

Flynn pushed to share nuclear tech with Saudis: Congressional report

AP, Washington :Senior White House officials pushed a project to share nuclear power technology with Saudi Arabia despite the objections of ethics and national security officials, according to a

Palestinian President rejects tax money from Israel

Palestinian President rejects tax money from Israel

Reuters, Ramallah, West Bank :The Palestinian Authority (PA) will no longer accept tax revenues collected on its behalf by Israel following its decision to trim the sum over the

Putin promises Russians better living conditions 'within this year'

Putin promises Russians better living conditions 'within this year'

AFP, Moscow  :President Vladimir Putin promised Russians rapid improvements in their living conditions as he delivered his annual state of the nation address Wednesday under pressure from falling approval