Iranians Mark 40th Anniversary of Islamic Revolution

Iranians Mark 40th Anniversary of Islamic Revolution

Kerry Wise
February 13, 2019

Hundreds of thousands of Iranians marched and some burned USA flags to mark the revolution's 40th anniversary on Monday as Tehran showed off ballistic missiles in defiance of US efforts to curb its military power.

In a report coinciding with the celebrations, Reporters Without Borders (RSF) said that 61,900 political prisoners had been held in Iran since the 1980s.

Soldiers, students, clerics and black-clad women holding small children thronged streets across Iran, many with portraits of Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, the Shi'ite cleric who toppled the Shah in an Islamic uprising that still haunts the West.

Rouhani lambasted calls from the United States and Europe for a fresh agreement to curb Iran's missile program. It later broadcast footage showing crowds across the country of 80 million.

In a speech at Tehran's Azadi (Freedom) square, Rouhani said USA efforts to separate Iran from other countries would fail.

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.

Chants of "Death to Israel" and "Death to Britain" followed, and demonstrators burned USA and Israeli flags.

Gen. Qassem Soleimani, the head of Iran's elite Quds Force, attended a rally in the southern city of Kerman.

The large turnout in state-sponsored rallies came as Iranians face mounting economic hardships.

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Waving Iranian flags, chanting "Death to America" and burning US and Israeli flags, hundreds of thousands of people poured out onto the streets across Iran on Monday, marking the date that's considered victory day in the country's 1979 Islamic Revolution.

Iran's President Hassan Rouhani speaks during a ceremony to mark the 40th anniversary of the Islamic Revolution in Tehran, Iran, Feb. 11, 2019.

A majority of Iranians blame domestic mismanagement and corruption over foreign sanctions for the economic situation, according to an IranPoll survey published in December 2018.

"The Intelligence people seem to be extremely passive and naive when it comes to the dangers of Iran".

He said, "We will not let America become victorious.Iranian people have and will have some economic difficulties but we will overcome the problems by helping each other".

Banners held by marchers or hung along the streets bore slogans including "Death to America", "Death to Israel", "we will trample on America", "forty years of challenge, forty years of United States defeats". Rather, they are directed at national leaders.

They were all castigated in the name of the Islamic revolution.

Fakheri, who was one of the revolutionaries on the streets of Tehran in 1979, said she would defend the revolution all over again.

Extensive fireworks displays were held across Tehran on Sunday night, timed to coincide with the demonstrations. He said he wanted to teach his son to support the revolution.