News / Middle East

Iran Marks Anniversary of Islamic Revolution

Multimedia

Audio
TEXT SIZE - +

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

Multimedia Relatives of South Korean Ferry Victims Fire at Authorities

46 people are confirmed dead, but some 250 remain trapped inside sunken ferry More

War Legacy Haunts Vietnam, US Relations

$84 million project aims to clean up soil contaminated by Agent Orange More

Wikipedia Proves Useful for Tracking Flu

Technique gave better results than Center for Disease Control (CDC) and Google’s Flu Trends 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.
Ukraine, Russia, United in Faith, Divided in Politicsi
X
Michael Eckels
April 19, 2014
There is a strong historical religious connection between Russia and Ukraine. But what role is religion playing in the current conflict? In the run-up to Easter, Michael Eckels in Moscow reports for VOA.
Video

Video Ukraine, Russia, United in Faith, Divided in Politics

There is a strong historical religious connection between Russia and Ukraine. But what role is religion playing in the current conflict? In the run-up to Easter, Michael Eckels in Moscow reports for VOA.
Video

Video Face of American Farmer is Changing

The average American farmer is now 58 years old, and farmers 65 and older are the fastest growing segment of the population. It’s a troubling trend signaling big changes ahead for American agriculture as aging farmers retire. Reporter Mike Osborne says a new report from the U.S. Census Bureau is suggesting what some of those changes might look like... and why they might not be so troubling.
Video

Video Donetsk Governor: Ukraine Military Assault 'Delicate But Necessary'

Around a dozen state buildings in eastern Ukraine remain in the hands of pro-Russian protesters who are demanding a referendum on self-rule. The governor of the whole Donetsk region is among those forced out by the protesters. He spoke to VOA's Henry Ridgwell from his temporary new office in Donetsk city.
Video

Video Drones May Soon Send Data From High Seas

Drones are usually associated with unmanned flying vehicles, but autonomous watercraft are also becoming useful tools for jobs ranging from scientific exploration to law enforcement to searching for a missing airliner in the Indian Ocean. VOA’s George Putic reports on sea-faring drones.
Video

Video New Earth-Size Planet Found

Not too big, not too small. Not too hot, not too cold. A newly discovered planet looks just right for life as we know it, according to an international group of astronomers. VOA’s Steve Baragona has more.
Video

Video Copts in Diaspora Worry About Future in Egypt

Around 10 percent of Egypt’s population belong to the Coptic faith, making them the largest Christian minority in the Middle East. But they have become targets of violence since the revolution three years ago. With elections scheduled for May and the struggle between the Egyptian military and Islamists continuing, many Copts abroad are deeply worried about the future of their ancient church. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky visited a Coptic church outside Washington DC.
Video

Video Critics Say Venezuelan Protests Test Limits of Military's Support

During the two months of deadly anti-government protests that have rocked the oil-rich nation of Venezuela, President Nicolas Maduro has accused the opposition of trying to initiate a coup. Though a small number of military officers have been arrested for allegedly plotting against the government, VOA’s Brian Padden reports the leadership of the armed forces continues to support the president, at least for now.
Video

Video More Millenials Unplug to Embrace Board Games

A big new trend in the U.S. toy industry has more consumers switching off their high-tech gadgets to play with classic toys, like board games. This is especially true among the so-called millenial generation - those born in the 1980's and 90's. Elizabeth Lee has more from an unusual café in Los Angeles, where the new trend is popular and business is booming.
Video

Video Google Buys Drone Company

In its latest purchase of high-tech companies, Google has acquired a manufacturer of solar-powered drones that can stay in the air almost indefinitely, relaying broadband Internet connection to remote areas. It is seen as yet another step in the U.S. based Web giant’s bid to bring Internet to the whole world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
AppleAndroid