Iran celebrates Islamic Revolution anniversary

Iran celebrates Islamic Revolution anniversary

Iranians marked on Friday the anniversary of the country’s 1979 Islamic Revolution with nationwide celebrations and mass rallies. At the Tehran rallies, demonstrators chanted traditional slogans against the United States and Israel, and later, hundreds of thousands marched toward the city’s central Azadi Square, where President Hassan Rouhani addressed the crowds, telling them that Iran would strongly answer any threat from its enemies.

“All of them should know that they must talk to the Iranian nation with respect and dignity,” Rouhani declared. “Our nation will strongly answer to any threat. [Iranians] will resist before enemies until the end.”

Rouhani called Iran the home of “lions” but said the country did not seek hostility. “We are not after tensions in the region and the world. We are united in the face of bullying and any threat,” STLToday quoted him as saying.

Many of the marchers carried the Iranian flag, others had banners and posters with revolutionary slogans. Printed U.S. flags and pictures of current and former U.S. presidents lay scattered on the streets — so they could be trampled by the marchers.

These rallies commemorated Feb. 11 of that year, when followers of Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini ousted the U.S.-backed Shah Reza Pahlavi. The United States helped orchestrate the 1953 coup that overthrew Iran’s popular prime minister, Mohammad Mossadegh, which brought Pahlavi to power and set the stage for decades of mistrust between the countries.

In an interview with Vestnik Kavkaza, a senior research fellow of the Institute for Oriental Studies of the Russian Academy of Sciences, Vladimir Sazhin, discussed military, political and economic development of the country after the revolution.

"The fact that this new Islamic country exists for 38 years means that Iran's government structure, built by the leader of this revolution and the leader of Iran Ayatollah Khamenei operates successfully. The main reason for this success is the system balances, established over the years. There are few democratic countries in the Middle East, and Iran is definitely one of them," the expert noted.

"Right now it can be seen that the potential of this country - economic, political and military - is extremely high. And after the nuclear agreement was signed and sanctions were lifted, I'm sure that Iran will overcome all possible difficulties," he concluded.