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Iran marks 40 years since Islamic Revolution as Rouhani warns US

US-Iran relations remain strained 40 years later


Iran marks 40 years since Islamic Revolution as Rouhani warns US

“Iran will proceed to develop its navy would possibly and missile program,” Rouhani mentioned in entrance of tens of 1000’s of people that had gathered in Tehran’s Azadi (Freedom) Sq. to mark the 1979 overthrow of Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi, a Western-installed monarch, which paved the way in which to clerical rule.

US President Donald Trump has mentioned that the financial sanctions he re-imposed in 2018 sought to maintain Iran’s navy — specifically its ballistic missile program — in examine.

Tehran has tried to current the anniversary rallies as a present of help for the regime and Rouhani has accused Trump of overtly agitating for regime change in Iran.

“As we speak we’re the goal of a psychological and financial battle. Enemies who search to belittle us, we should resolve these issues with each other,” mentioned Rouhani on Monday. “With the help and the assistance of each other … we will probably be victorious within the face of America.”

‘Dying to America’

The recital of Quranic verses combined with revolutionary chants as a sea of individuals carried Iranian flags and demonstration banners. Stalls that lined the highway to the principle sq. distributed data pamphlets, hosted reside radio reveals and showcased younger youngsters singing Islamic and nationalist anthems.

Protesters carry life-sized cardboard images of iconic revolutionary figures, including Supreme Leader Rouhallah Khomeini.

“After we say ‘Dying to America’ we imply down with Trump, and (US Secretary of State Mike) Pompeo,” mentioned cleric Mohammed Reza Maqsood, 32, referring to the inflammatory chant that has lengthy been a staple of the Islamic Republic’s nationwide celebrations.

Maqsood was echoing an handle made by Iran’s Supreme Chief Ali Khamenei on Friday the place he mentioned that “Dying to America” utilized solely to “Trump, (Nationwide Safety Adviser) John Bolton and Pompeo.”

“I selected to come back right here and rally in order that I can see. I do not want a better training to see the help right here,” Maqsood added.

‘Battle with the Islamic Republic would fail’

The chief of the Iranian navy’s elite Revolutionary guards was additionally among the many crowds marching to Azadi Sq..

In a uncommon interview with Western media, Main Normal Mohammad Ali Jafari advised CNN: “With the missiles we now have proper now, with the progress in excessive know-how and with the self-reliance we now have achieved in numerous fields, and in addition with the expansion of the inhabitants in Iran, we now have the ability and capability to defend towards any sort of invasion.”

Jafari mentioned widespread help for the federal government, in addition to Iran’s “expanded protection system” has rendered the Islamic Republic “invincible.”

“The Individuals and different massive powers know {that a} battle with the Islamic Republic would fail,” mentioned Jafari. “They’ve began a smooth battle, a cultural, political and financial battle towards us, and our individuals have understood that. They’re resisting and they’re ready.”

Nostalgic fervor

Iranian authorities have tried to construct up anticipation for the anniversary. For days, state-aligned TV stations have aired archival footage from the 1979 protests. They re-ran dramatic video of the nation’s first Supreme Chief Ayatollah Rouhallah Khomeini arriving in Tehran after 14 years in exile and replayed the charismatic chief behooving crowds to shake off the shackles of “Western imperialism.”

Ayatollah Rouhollah Khomeini greets the crowd at Tehran University after his return to Iran during the Iranian Revolution.Ayatollah Rouhollah Khomeini greets the crowd at Tehran University after his return to Iran during the Iranian Revolution.

The federal government’s messaging centered across the slogan “Sure, we will,” an obvious acknowledgement of the difficulties hundreds of thousands of Iranians face underneath the pressure of renewed US sanctions.

Costs have soared, the rial foreign money has plummeted and meals and medical shortages have affected households throughout Iran. However authorities say that the nation is not any stranger to hardship, and usually invoke its individuals’s “steadfastness” within the eight-year battle with Iraq within the 1980s.

On Sunday night time, fireworks lit up Tehran’s sky and a few conservative neighborhoods echoed to calls of Allahu Akbar (God is nice). This was a tribute to an oft-recalled scene from the revolution precisely 40 years earlier. On the night time earlier than it was declared that the Shah had formally abdicated, Iranians took to their balconies, beating pots and pans as ‘Allahu Akbar’ reverberated throughout the capital.

Widening inequality

Whereas many individuals attest to the fervor that gripped Iranians on the time, a number of former revolutionaries privately say they really feel disillusioned by how the political and financial scenario performed out.

Iranian protesters defiant in the face of 'worst' crackdown in a decadeIranian protesters defiant in the face of 'worst' crackdown in a decade

“We succeeded in creating cultural change, in making the nation extra non secular,” mentioned businessman Abolqasem Shafie who participated within the Islamic revolution’s demonstrations. “However I believe that when it comes to economics, there’s a lot to be desired.”

Because the revolution, literacy charges have skyrocketed and entry to healthcare and training has improved, notably in rural areas and the provinces.

But indicators of widening inequality, in addition to widespread reviews of presidency corruption and cronyism, have weighed closely on an financial system that has been repeatedly hit by worldwide sanctions over the past 40 years.

“There’s been an enormous push at a grassroots stage inside Iran over the previous 12 months, as demonstrated by protest actions … to truly cope with points to do with corruption and mismanagement of home affairs,” mentioned Ellie Geranmayeh, Senior Coverage Fellow on the European Council on International Relations (ECFR).

“That is going to be an enormous situation … for not simply the prevailing Rouhani authorities however any successive authorities that involves energy.”

For some, these issues have marred an occasion that may in any other case have been trigger for celebration.

“I’m not pleased with this anniversary,” mentioned one man in his late 20s, who requested anonymity for safety causes. “This is not the Fourth of July. It is not one thing we ought to be pleased with. Folks like me haven’t achieved what they wished.”

Iranians enjoy the ceremony on Monday.Iranians enjoy the ceremony on Monday.

He added, nonetheless, that he has no nostalgia for the times of the Shah, regardless of wishing to regain the social freedoms that had been misplaced as Iran reworked right into a theocracy. His father participated within the demonstrations 4 many years in the past — to undo what the revolutionaries had achieved, he argued, would mark “a step backwards.”

‘Trump should not be concerned’

The person mentioned that the US president’s assault on the regime ought to cease. “Trump should not be concerned in this stuff. That is my nation and we all know what’s higher for us.”

As a substitute of pitting Iranians towards the regime, the Trump administration’s makes an attempt to isolate the nation and help anti-regime protesters have solely referred to as up photos of battle, some Iranians mentioned. “My pals and I might relatively keep on with this regime than have a battle like in Syria and Iraq,” mentioned the person.

ECFR’s Geranmayeh mentioned that there’s a “deep mistrust” and doubt about future offers rising as soon as once more between Iran and the West.

“Will Iran come to the negotiating desk as soon as extra with the USA? Thus far, the messaging is not any, not till the US comes again to the nuclear deal and meets its dedication,” she added.

CNN’s Shirzad Bozorgmehr, Sara Mazloumsaki, Zahra Ullah and Samuel Quashie-Idun contributed to this report.

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