Thousands of Iranians flooded the streets of Tehran on Friday, swearing allegiance to Ayatollah Khamenei and other religious leaders as they celebrated the 38th anniversary of the Iranian Revolution. The rally had demonstrations against U.S. influence and current president Donald Trump.
The 1979 Iranian Revolution was the event that ended up with the toppling of Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi, who was protected by the United States and is seen as a result of American foreign policy.
‘Death to America’
Marchers trampled flags and showcased “Death to America” banners and chants against both the U.S. and Israel, while also showing mocking pictures of Trump while Iranian President Hassan Rouhani alongside spiritual and political leaders invited the people to rise against the United States.
“All of them should know that they must talk to the Iranian nation with respect and dignity. Our nation will strongly answer to any threat. Iranians will make those using threatening language against this nation regret it,” stated President Rouhani at the demonstration.
— Fateme Karimkhan (@KarimkhanF) February 10, 2017
The Iranian Revolution depicts the events that ended up with the removal of the Pahlavi dynasty from power, putting Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini in his place. Movements of civil resistance started in October 1977 and soon became more violent in early January of 1978. By December, the country was paralyzed by strikes and public demonstrations of dissent, which forced the Shah to leave the country for Khomeini to eventually gain power.
The demonstration appears to be a result of Trump’s foreign policy after putting Iran “on notice” and making aggressive remarks on Twitter. He also warned that the Islamic republic was “playing with fire” after they had launched a ballistic missile test. On the other hand, Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis assured that Iran was “the single biggest state sponsor of terrorism in the world,” greatly contrasting the take on Iran-U.S. relations held during the Obama administration.
On Tuesday, Iranian supreme leader Ayatollah Khamenei stated that he was thankful to Donald Trump for revealing the “real face” of the United States. Trump called out on Iran by ensuring that his administration would not treat them as softly as ex-President Obama did.
President Trump has criticized the recent nuclear agreement held between the United States and Iran, alongside five other countries. The decision was to have Tehran reduce its nuclear capabilities in exchange for an improvement of its international relations, specifically referring to sanctions. So far, Trump has not lifted the agreement, although it is a matter of time until the new scenario calls for executive action.
When it comes to Iran’s side of the agreement, President Rouhani has been supportive of it, while his opponents claim that it should be dissolved. According to Rouhani, the nuclear agreement is a guarantee of the country’s right to use nuclear power while also ensuring its integration from political isolation.