43 years of resistance and counting

TEHRAN, Feb. 12 (MNA) – Iranians from all walks of life poured out onto the streets across the country to mark the 43rd anniversary of the victory of the Islamic Revolution on Friday.

The celebration was held amid coronavirus restrictions which have forced Iranians to mark the anniversary of the Revolution in a different fashion for the second straight year. Just like the previous year, the Iranians got behind wheels and drove through streets hoisting the three-color flag of Iran to keep alive the memory of a revolution that put Iran on a totally different path more than four decades ago. 

The Islamic Revolution took place in February of 1979 when the US-backed regime of Mohammad Reza Shah collapsed under the weight of continual protests across the country under the leadership of Imam Khomeini who had returned home from exile ten days earlier. 

The Imam returned to Iran from France on February 1, a move that acted as a catalyst for the ultimate victory of the Revolution. Ten days after the Imam’s return, the people brought down the entirety of the Shah regime, ending the monarchical rule and establishing a republican system for the first time in Iranian history.

Since then, Iranians have been celebrating the victory of the Revolution every year in February. People used to take part in nationwide rallies on foot before the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic. But in 2021 and 2022, it was not possible to hold massive parades due to the pandemic.

That’s why Iranians have held car processions to avoid infections and celebrate the Revolution at the same time. Of course, this year there were some on-foot processions in areas where the pandemic was less severe.  

In the capital Tehran, the car processions began at 09:30 a.m. local time and drivers headed to their usual destination: the iconic Azad Square. The cars were adorned with Iran’s flags and photos of Imam Khomeini as well as placards reading slogans such as “Death to America,” “Death to Israel,” and “Death to England.” Photos of the Leader of Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyed Ali Khamenei and martyr Lieutenant General Qassem Soleimani also were waived in the processions. 

Some drivers chanted slogans of “Death to America” and “We Will Resist Until the End” from windows as they drove by, according to an AFP report. 

This year’s anniversary of the Islamic Revolution coincided with Friday during which a weekly congregational prayer is held. President Ayatollah Seyed Ebrahim Raisi delivered a sermon at the Friday prayer in which he congratulated the Iranian people on the victory of the Islamic Revolution. The president described February 11 as a “Day of God” and a “manifestation of divine might at the hand of the great people of Iran under the leadership of Imam Khomeini.”

Ayatollah Raisi said the Iranian people and the world’s nations want the Iranian political system to remain revolutionary. “The slogans of the Islamic Revolution were rational and today, not only the great nation of Iran but the world’s nations are pinning great hope on this revolution. What everybody wants is that this system continues to be revolutionary and not lose [its revolutionary fervor] due to ups and downs and developments,” the president said.

Ayatollah Raisi also touched on foreign policy issues, saying that his administration seeks to strike a balance in Iran’s foreign policy.

“Our relations in foreign policy are to create balance. Looking to the West has made the country unbalanced. We must pay attention to all countries and capacities, especially our neighbors. But we pin hope on God, we pin hope on Khuzestan, Khorasan, Azerbaijan, east, west, north, and south of the country, and we never pin hope on Vienna and New York,” the president said. 

Other Iranian officials also made remarks about the 43rd anniversary of the Islamic Revolution. The spokesman for the Iranian Foreign Ministry, Saeed Khatibzadeh, said the revolution was a struggle for self-determination. “43 years ago, the agelong struggle of our nation for self-determination, & a free & independent Iran ended in victory. Our nation has made many sacrifices to safeguard those values & principles,” he said on Twitter. 

He added, “Our resolve to stand & strive for Iran's rights & interests remains unwavering.”

Iranian Foreign Minister Amir Hossein Amir Abdollahian, for his part, said the values of the revolution will continue to serve as a guiding principle for Iran’s foreign policy.

“I was honored to accompany President Raisi in hosting foreign ambassadors on the 43rd anniversary of our nation's Islamic Revolution. Values of the revolution will continue to lead Iran's foreign policy,” the foreign minister said on Twitter.

First published in Tehran Times

News Code 183828


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