EghtesadOnline: Iranians across the country poured into the streets in large numbers on Tuesday to commemorate the 41st anniversary of the Islamic Revolution.
This year’s demonstrations are taking place amid heightened tensions between the Islamic Republic and its old foe, the United States, which brought the countries to the verge of war in early January, Financial Tribune reported.
The friction began to rise in 2018 after the US pulled out of the 2015 nuclear deal and reimposed harsh sanctions on Tehran, and peaked when Iran’s top commander, Major General Qasem Soleimani, was assassinated on the order of US President Donald Trump by American drones while on an official mission in the Iraqi capital Baghdad on Jan 3.
Iran immediately retaliated by targeting locations hosting American forces in Iraq by missiles, but declared that the ultimate revenge would be the US expulsion from the entire region.
The Islamic Revolution’s anniversary coincides with the 40th-day memorial of General Soleimani whose funeral took millions of mourners in Iran and hundreds in several other countries to the streets in protest against the US aggression.
Top officials from various state organizations, including President Hassan Rouhani, Judiciary Chief Ebrahim Raeisi and Parliament Speaker Ali Larijani, took part in the demonstrations.
Rouhani said in his speech that the Iranian people in 1979 chose between dependence on foreign powers and independence.
"The Islamic Revolution was based on selection and its biggest outcome remains the right to select," he said.
The judiciary chief, who participated in the rallies held in the city of Mashhad, Khorasan Razavi Province, said this year's demonstration had a new message for the world that Iran has gained power.
"If the message of the 1979 revolution was driving America out of Iran … the message of today's procession is moving toward … driving America out of the region," he said.
The Majlis speaker pointed to the United States' hostility, saying Iran is facing a "malignant enemy" that cannot be tackled through negotiation and logic, and requires a display of power.
"Demonstrations represent the best power that can be displayed to America and they should know that they must meet the Iranian nation's demands," he said.
Zarif also told reporters that these demonstrations mark 41 years of US mistaken policy of trying to dishearten Iranians.
"They have been waiting for 41 years for Iranian people to abandon their revolution under pressure … They have made a mistake and have not known the Iranian nation," he said.
First Vice President Es'haq Jahangiri also joined demonstrators in Sistan-Baluchestan Province that had recently been hit by flash floods.
He said the Islamic Revolution did not achieve victory with military power, but with the support of the people.
"The rallies on Bahman 22 [Feb. 11] send an important message to the enemies of Islam and display the strong public support for the Islamic Republic," he said.