Millions of Iranians from all walks of life attended celebrations in Azadi Square marking the 35th anniversary of the victory of the Islamic Revolution that triumphed in 1979. The Islamic revolution was a turning point in contemporary history when the movement led by Imam Khomeini (ra) brought to an end the tyrannical regime of the US-backed Reza Shah. It was not without a price: at least 80,000 people, among them women and children, were martyred by the Shah's forces despite the completely peaceful nature of demonstrations.
Even after 35 years, the people's enthusiasm for the revolution has not waned despite decades of illegal sanctions imposed on Iran by the Western powers led by the United States.
The Islamic revolution was the first genuine change in Muslim societies. It was not another palace coup in which one set of elite grabbed power from another. The Imam established a system of government based in Islamic values and principles.
By offering sincere and courageous leadership, the Imam inspired the people of Iran to make immense sacrifices in defence of the revolution. Soon after the victory of the Islamic revolution, agents of imperialism and Zionism launched a vicious campaign of internal sabotage and assassinated more than 1200 leading figures of the revolution.
Those martyred included the country's President Mohammad Ali Rajaie, Prime Minister Mohammed Bahonar, Chief Justice Ayatullah Mohammed Hussein Beheshti, leading ulama such as Ayatullah Mofatteh and Ayatullah Murtaza Muttahari as well as scores of Imam Jumahs.
Any other system would have collapsed after such massive blows but the Islamic system with its deep roots among the people and the courageous leadership of Imam Khomeini, withstood this challenge.
Similarly, the people of Iran singlehandedly withstood the onslaught from Baathist Iraq under the tyrannical ruler Saddam Hussein. That war lasted eight years and Saddam was backed by all of his Arab allies as well as the West. He used chemical and biological weapons against the Islamic forces but Islamic Iran was not cowed down.
After such tremendous sacrifices, the people of Iran are entitled to display fireworks and colorful illuminations on the evening before the final day-February 11 (coinciding with 22 Bahman in the Iranian calendar year) to celebrate this remarkable achievement.
President Hassan Rohani as well as Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif addressed the millions of people assembled at the site of the celebrations. They had started to gather from early morning bringing their children and families with them.
The festive mood was evident. The people of Iran are entitled to these celebrations that they have earned with their blood and tears.
Two days earlier, the Rahbar, Imam Seyyed Ali Khamenei while addressing Air Force Commanders said that American officials speak with forked tongues. They say one thing in their private meeting with Iranian officials and then say something completely the opposite the next day. He warned Iranian officials to be vigilante against such duplicity and doublespeak.
In denouncing the threats against the Islamic Republic by some
American officials as "worthless and childish," President Rohani who was addressing millions of people, announced, "On behalf of the people of Iran, I declare with a clear voice that threatening Iran is worthless and childish since our millat has, over the past 35 years, resisted against various threats from the enemy and achieved victory."
Addressing directly the sextet with whom Iran has been involved in negotiations over the nuclear issue, President Rohani told them: "I say to the P5+1 countries that nuclear negotiations are a historic test for Europe and the United States. Should they proceed within the framework of law, the rights of the Iranian people, common interests, mutual respect, interaction, and cooperation in nuclear negotiations, they will receive a positive and proper response from Iran."
He then warned: "But, if they seek to repeat the improper and wrongful manners of the past, they should know that they have taken steps to the detriment of their own countries, the region, global welfare and stability..."
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