Iranians march in the rain for 40th anniversary of Islamic Revolution, Tehran, February 11, 2019
Iranians gathered in regime-organized rallies in Tehran and other cities on Monday for the 40th anniversary of the Islamic Revolution.
State media proclaimed that “millions” celebrated as regime officials, including President Hassan Rouhani, used the occasion to defy economic conditions and US sanctions. Press TV highlights chants of “Death of America!” — three days after the Supreme Leader’s statement last week that he did not mean death for all Americans, but only for US leaders like Donald Trump, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, and National Security Advisor John Bolton.
I bow in admiration to Iran's resilient people who— despite hardships & grievances— today poured into streets by the millions to mark 40th anniv of their Islamic Revolution, which some in the US wished would never come. US should take note: REAL Iranians never succumb to diktats. pic.twitter.com/GqcFKOb6DL
— Javad Zarif (@JZarif) February 11, 2019
President Hassan Rouhani addressed the crowd that marched to Tehran’s Azadi Square, on streets lined with life-sized replicas of ballistic missiles to highlight resistance to US punishment and European concerns about Iran’s missile development.
“We have not asked and will not ask for permission to develop different types of…missiles and will continue our path and our military power,” Rouhani said.
People’s strong presence in streets around the country, including Tehran means that the plots of the enemies in the past one year have been foiled….The enemies will never achieve their vicious goals.
Last week the possibility of a vital European link to prop up the Iranian economy collapsed. The European Commission had annnounced the launch of a limited Special Purpose Vehicle, bypassing US sanctions, but Iranian officials rejecting “humiliating conditions” including the criticism of Tehran’s missile program and activities in the region.
Iran’s oil exports have fallen 60% since April, and sales of non-oil products have also dropped sharply. The Central Bank reported Sunday that the Government is facing a large budget deficit.
Rouhani insisted, “The Iranian people have and will have some economic difficulties but we will overcome the problems by helping each other.”
“Happy? Are You Kidding Me?”
But even amid the celebrations, there were differing voices. A “political analyst and Tehran resident”, interviewed by Scott Peterson of the Christian Science Monitor, said:
After 40 years, the Islamic Republic has no similarity to its past. It is a corrupted government….It has some cover of religion, but is not religious.
No justice. Nothing about the goals that the revolution had – justice, equality, participation of all the people. Nothing.
Amir, who lost his business and now drives a taxi, says, “Happy? Are you kidding me? Of course not.”
He explains, “The worst thing about this revolution has been the lack of the rule of law. Officials circumvent their own laws, and this has gone down to all levels of the public,” concluding, “You don’t have any economic security because of the corruption. I have no future.”
Foreshadowing Monday’s rallies in a debate in debate, prominent political analyst Sadegh Zibakalam asserted:
If you force our radical and hard-line revolutionary people into not using the name ‘America’ in their speeches, they will have nothing to say. They have been hiding behind this for 40 years, refusing to address the fundamental issues.