Daniel Kovalik, an academic at the University of Pittsburgh, made the remarks in an interview with Press TV on Tuesday as Iran observes the annual celebrations to mark the anniversary of the victory of the Islamic Revolution.
The Ten-Day Dawn celebrations got off to an ebullient start in Iran on Sunday, marking the run-up to the 42nd anniversary of the Islamic Revolution, which overthrew the US-backed Pahlavi regime.
The nationwide celebrations start on the anniversary of the homecoming of the late founder of the Islamic Republic, Imam Khomeini, after several years of exile, and ends on the anniversary of the victory of the revolution.
As of every year, the ceremonies began with a visit by Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei to Imam Khomeini’s mausoleum. The mausoleum, south of the capital Tehran, also hosts senior Iranian officials, as well as ordinary people, particularly on the first day of the celebrations.
Forty-two years ago, millions of Iranians thronged Tehran’s Mehrabad Airport to catch a glimpse of the return from almost 15 years of exile of the iconoclast at whose impending arrival the British-installed and US-backed Shah had fled the country.
The celebrations culminate on February 10, marking the resounding triumph of the Islamic Revolution which freed Iran from domestic despotism and foreign hegemony. The victory came under the astute leadership of Imam Khomeini who ended 2,500 years of monarchy in Iran.
“I think by many measures Iran has done amazingly well in resisting the pressure by those who have been bent on destroying Iran and the (Islamic) Revolution,” Kovalik told Press TV.
“We have to remember that very shortly after the revolution the US supported Saddam Hussein in invading Iran. Over a million people died on both sides of the border in that war in which Saddam Hussein used chemical weapons provided to him by Germany and the United States,” he added.
“In addition to that, of course, the US and other countries in the West have imposed draconian sanctions on Iran. Really since the beginning of the revolution in 1979 notwithstanding, all those things and many others, including the downing of a civilian Iranian airplane,” he noted.
“Iran has prospered and continues to even now during the worst of the sanctions it has some of the best economic growth in the Middle East currently, and it has maintained its independence. It has continued to be a regional power and influence, even, you know, supporting far-flung countries like Venezuela,” he said.
“So, I think by any measure the revolution has to be seen as successful. I think it’s amazing that Iran is now exporting more oil than it was at the time Trump imposed his sanctions, as you say, to try to bring their exports down to zero. And meanwhile, Iran is now getting more revenue from non-oil industries than from oil so not only is it exporting more oil but it’s doing better in creating non-oil industries and revenue which is quite incredible. In many ways, it’s a model for countries like Venezuela. They need really, to learn how to diversify during the time of sanctions,” the analyst concluded.