Huge Crowds Gather to Commemorate Anniversary of Islamic Revolution
Millions of Iranians have taken to the streets today to commemorate the 39th anniversary of the Islamic Revolution in demonstrations across the country.
Hundreds of domestic and foreign reporters are said to be covering the Bahman 22 (February 11) rallies.
In Tehran, demonstrators will congregate at the Azadi Square, Tehran’s main square and the site of major national rallies over the past three decades.
The rallies are crucially important this year as the event comes only a month after limited riots in a dozen cities and towns across the country.
Led by the Founder of the Revolution, Imam Khomeini, Iranians confronted the forces of US-proxy Mohammad-Reza Pahlavi in late 1977 to end dictatorship rule in the country.
By December 1978, millions of Iranians would take to the streets in protest against the policies of the Shah on a regular basis.
Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini returned from exile to Iran to be received by cheering crowds after the departure of the Shah in mid-January 1979. Two weeks later, the country saw the Islamic Revolution.
The final collapse of the Shah’s regime came on February 11, 1979, when the military renounced its loyalty to the Shah and joined the revolutionary forces.
On this day 39 years ago, people took to the streets to celebrate the collapse of the Pahlavi Dynasty and the emergence of the new era.
Today, after 39 years, Iranians have turned out in the millions to mark the historic day once again, demonstrating their adherence to the principles and philosophy of the Islamic Republic.
On April 1, 1979, Iranians cast their ballots in a national referendum. An astonishing 98.2 percent of the votes endorsed the establishment of an Islamic Republic.
Meantime, a new poll, conducted by the Center for International and Security Studies at Maryland University (CISSM) and IranPoll, in the aftermath of the recent protests and riots in Iran found the population’s strong support for the country’s political system and its regional and missile policies.
Based on the poll, conducted between Jan. 16 and 24, most Iranians strongly disagree with the idea of changing the country’s political system, while a good majority of the population also back up Iran’s regional and missiles policies.
The results of the poll, also cited by Washington Post, showed that just 4.9% of respondents strongly agreed that the political system in Iran needs fundamental change. The finding may somehow explain why the number of rioters was too small during the unrests in late December and early January, when a few thousand took out to the streets in roughly more than a dozen towns and cities to shout protest against the establishment.
Also, with regard to Iran’s missile program that has come under the spotlight ever since Tehran and the six world powers struck a deal over the former’s nuclear capability, the findings of the CISSM poll are very telling. Only 8.8% of participants strongly believed that Iran should spend less money on its missile program.
Meantime, the poll showed that merely 11.3% of respondents strongly agree that the government interferes too much in their personal lives and just 17.2% strongly agree that involvement in Iraq and Syria is not in the country’s national interest.
Also, only 21.5% of those who have taken part in the polling believed that the government should spend less in places like Syria and Iraq.
Meantime, only 21.7% of Iranians strongly agree that the government should not strictly enforce Islamic law, according to the findings of the poll.
When asked for their opinion on the US government, 85 percent of Iranians were found to have a very unfavorable opinion of it; less than 1 percent had a very favorable opinion.
Another part of the poll indicates that 63% of Iranian people believe that the government should be more forceful to stop rioters while just 9% think that US President Donald Trump’s support for rioters benefited them.
Though US President Donald Trump was among a number of US officials who voiced their support for Iranians during the protests — Trump tweeted five times in three days about the protests at the end of December, offering support for the protesters and criticizing the government — the poll found 48 percent of Iranians felt comments by the American leader and other US officials had no effect.
In general, the poll suggested a broad distrust for the United States among the Iranian public. Though most Iranians still supported the nuclear deal reached with the United States and other countries under the Obama administration, 86 percent had doubts the United States would live up to its obligations under the deal while 42 percent said the United States had violated letter of the agreement.