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Iran marks 37 years since the Islamic Revolution

11/02 11:39 CET

Iran marks 37 years since the Islamic Revolution
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  • 37 years since Iran’s Islamic revolution
  • Thousands rally across the country
  • Ceremonies also held around the world

Iranians have begun nationwide celebrations to commemorate the 37th anniversary of the 1979 Islamic revolution.

State television has aired footage of rallies in Tehran, as well as other cities and towns across the country.

Demonstrators chanted traditional slogans against the US and Israel. Some streets are decorated with anti-US and anti-Israeli banners and posters.

Some dressed as a group of US sailors arrested by Iran in the Persian Gulf in mid-January.

President Hassan Rouhani spoke to the crowds gathered in the capital’s Azadi Square.

“We have the ability to assert ourselves in the field of diplomacy,” he said, “ and a have logical dialogue facing the international community.”

“We could erase all the cruel resolutions of the UN Security Council against the Iranian people.”

President Rouhani also urged the crowd to turn out and vote in elections for parliament and Iran’s Consitutional Council.

They are due to be held on February the 26th.

Around the world

News agencies say ceremonies have also been held in Jordan, Lebanon, London, Pakistan and Indonesia.

The context

The rallies commemorate February the 11th, 1979, when followers of Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini ousted the US-backed Shah Reza Pahlavi.

A 1953 coup overthrew Iran’s popular prime minister, Mohammed Mossadegh, and brought Pahlavi to power.

Iran: timeline to revolution

  • 1953 – coup returns Shah Mohammed Reza Pahlavi to power

  • 1953 to 1978 – Shah’s policy of modernisation (the ‘White Revolution’) alienates clergy and opposition

  • 1979 (January) – Shah forced into exile.

  • 1979 (February) – Ayatollah Khomeini
    returns following 14 years exile in Iraq and France

  • 1979 (April) – Islamic Republic of Iran is proclaimed

  • 1979 (November) – Islamic militants hold 52 US citizens hostage in the US embassy in Tehran. They demand the Shah be extradited from the US where he is having medical treatment

  • 1980 (January) – Iran’s new government embarks on programme of nationlisation

  • 1980 (July) – the exiled Shah dies in Egypt
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