News / Middle East

Iran Marks Anniversary of Islamic Revolution

Multimedia

Audio

Iran is starting 11 days of celebrations to mark the 31st anniversary of the Islamic Revolution.   Around the country, Iranians paused at 9:33 in the morning to remember the day that the revolution's leader, Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, returned from a long exile in France. 

Iranian TV showed images of men ringing bells, trains blowing their whistles, ships sounding their horns, and soldiers firing cannons to mark the symbolic return of Islamic Republic founder Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini on February 1, 1979.

The stern-faced leader of the Islamic Revolution which swept away Iran's monarchy arrived that day at 9:33 by plane from France after 15 years in exile. Large, exuberant crowds met him at Tehran's Mehrabad Airport.

Former Iranian President Abolhasan Bani Sadr, who now lives in exile, traveled with Ayatollah Khomeini, that day.   He recalls the emotional rush that overcame him as he walked down the stairs behind the Ayatollah.

He says many memories come back to him of that day, as he walked down the stairs: returning to his homeland after years of exile and finding people warm, confident, happy and full of hope. And then, he recalls, there was a sea of people in the streets of Tehran, and they all seemed eager and confident.  He also remembers the enthusiasm of the first election, when he became Iran's first democratically elected leader. Later memories, he recalls, are sad ones, when Iraq invaded Iran and the regime began a wave of repression, followed by a coup that swept him from power.

As part of the anniversary celebrations children dressed in the colors of the Iranian flag paid homage to Ayatollah Khomeini by singing and chanting. Iran's revolutionary guards and basij militiamen also raced through the streets of Tehran on motorcycles, waving flags, to celebrate.

President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, accompanied by his top ministers, visited the Ayatollah's mausoleum in Tehran, to honor his memory. Mr. Ahmadinejad, accompanied by the Ayatollah's grandson, stooped down to kiss his tomb, before remembering the revolution.

Mr. Ahmadinejad says that the return of Imam Khomeini to his native land on this day was the beginning of a new period in the life of all humanity. He argues that the Revolution was an uprising, which marks human history as a movement that opened the window of salvation and redemption, freeing people from the physical constraints of life.

The opposition Kalameh Web site reported that the Ayatollah's grandson, Seyyed Hassan Khomeini snubbed Mr. Ahmadinejad during the president's speech. Later, the younger Khomeini visited the home of a jailed advisor to opposition leader Mir Hossein Mousavi.

There were no reported opposition demonstrations Monday and opposition leaders Mir Hossein Mousavi and Mehdi Karroubi have urged their supporters to turn out on February 11, when Iranians normally take to the streets to celebrate the revolution.

You May Like

Photogallery Americans Celebrate Thanksgiving With Feasts, Festivities

Holiday traditions include turkey dinners, 'turkey trots,' American-style football and New York parade with giant balloons More

Video For Obama, Ferguson Violence is a Personal Issue

With two years left in term, analysts say, president has less to lose by taking conversation on race further More

Video Italian Espresso Expands Into Space

When Italian astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti headed for the ISS, her countrymen worried how she would survive six months drinking only instant coffee More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
South Africa Sees Male Circumcision as Way to Reduce HIV Infectionsi
X
November 28, 2014 3:31 PM
South Africa remains plagued by AIDS despite massive government and NGO efforts on prevention and life-sustaining Anti-Retro-Viral programs. But the country has opened up another front to reduce new HIV infections: promoting circumcision. Emilie Iob reports for VOA News from a pioneering circumcision center in Orange Farm, Johannesburg.
Video

Video South Africa Sees Male Circumcision as Way to Reduce HIV Infections

South Africa remains plagued by AIDS despite massive government and NGO efforts on prevention and life-sustaining Anti-Retro-Viral programs. But the country has opened up another front to reduce new HIV infections: promoting circumcision. Emilie Iob reports for VOA News from a pioneering circumcision center in Orange Farm, Johannesburg.
Video

Video To Make A Living, Nairobi Street Vendors Face Legal Hurdles, Physical Violence

The Nairobi City Council has been accused of brutality in dealing with hawkers in the Central Business District - in order to stop them from illegally selling their wares on the streets. Lenny Ruvaga has more for VOA News from the Kenyan capital.
Video

Video For Obama, Ferguson Violence is a Personal Issue

Throughout the crisis in Ferguson, Missouri, President Barack Obama has urged calm, restraint and respect for the rule of law. But the events in Ferguson have prompted him to call — more openly than he has before — for profound changes to end the racism and distrust that he believes still exists between whites and blacks in the United States. VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.
Video

Video Online Magazine Gets Kids Discussing Big Questions

Teen culture in America is often criticized for being superficial. But an online magazine has been encouraging some teenagers to explore deeper issues, and rewarding their efforts. VOA religion reporter Jerome Socolovsky went to this year’s Kidspirit awards ceremony in New York.
Video

Video US Community Kicks Off Thanksgiving With Parade

Thursday is Thanksgiving in the United States, a holiday whose roots go back to the country's earliest days as a British colony. One way Americans celebrate the occasion is with parades. Anush Avetisyan takes us to one such event on the day before Thanksgiving near Washington, where a community's diversity is on display. Joy Wagner narrates
Video

Video Aung San Suu Kyi: Myanmar Opposition to Keep Pushing for Constitutional Change

Myanmar opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi says she and her supporters will continue pushing to amend a constitutional clause that bars her from running for president next year. VOA's Than Lwin Htun reports from the capital Naypyitaw in this report narrated by Colin Lovett.
Video

Video Mali Attempts to Shut Down Ebola Transmission Chain

Senegal and Nigeria were able to stop small Ebola outbreaks by closely monitoring those who had contact with the sick person and quickly isolating anyone with symptoms. Mali is now scrambling to do the same. VOA’s Anne Look reports from Mali on what the country is doing to shut down the chain of transmission.
Video

Video Ukraine Marks Anniversary of Deadly 1930s Famine

During a commemoration for millions who died of starvation in Ukraine in the early 1930s, President Petro Poroshenko lashed out at Soviet-era totalitarianism for causing the deaths and accused today’s Russian-backed rebels in the east of using similar tactics. VOA’s Daniel Shearf reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video Hong Kong Protests at a Crossroads

New public opinion polls in Hong Kong indicate declining support for pro-democracy demonstrations after weeks of street protests. VOA’s Bill Ide in Guangzhou and Pros Laput in Hong Kong spoke with protesters and observers about whether demonstrators have been too aggressive in pushing for change.
Video

Video US Immigration Relief Imminent for Mixed-Status Families

Tens of thousands of undocumented immigrants in the Washington, D.C., area may benefit from a controversial presidential order announced this week. It's not a path to citizenship, as some activists hoped. But it will allow more immigrants who arrived as children or who have citizen children, to avoid deportation and work legally. VOA's Victoria Macchi talks with one young man who benefited from an earlier presidential order, and whose parents may now benefit after years of living in fear.
Video

Video New Skateboard Defies Gravity

A futuristic dream only a couple of decades ago, the hoverboard – a skateboard that floats above the ground - has finally been made possible. While still not ready for mass production, it promises to become a cool mode of transport... at least over some surfaces. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Falling Gas Prices Impact US Oil Extraction

With the price of oil now less than $80 a barrel, motorists throughout the United States are benefiting from gas prices below $3 a gallon. But as VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, the decreasing price of petroleum has a downside for the hydraulic fracturing industry in the United States.

All About America

AppleAndroid