Millions of people in Iran hit the streets on Monday to mark the 40th anniversary of the Islamic Revolution of 1979, following increasing economic and political pressure from the United States.
The million march rally takes place every February 11, domestically known as the Ten Day Dawn, which saw US-backed Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi’s government replaced with an Islamic Republic under Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini.
The Ten Day Dawn, within the region, commemorates the time of violent protests following Khomeini’s return from exile on February 1, 1979.
The marchers have gathered at the Azadi Square, considered one of Tehran’s most iconic monuments which had been built by the Shah and later renamed following the victory of forces supporting Khomeini’s cause. While addressing the marchers, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said the 1979 revolution saved the country “from tyranny, colonisation and dependence”.
“This nation has managed to establish a system of Islamic Republic and an independent system of government,” he said.
Demonstrators, while marching, raised anti-US and anti-Saudi slogans and banners and shouted, “Death to America”, “Death to Israel” and “Death to the al-Saud” family of Saudi Arabia.
Following the 40 years of the revolution, observers say that the region is divided between hardliners and reformists, the latter of which include Rouhani, who brought about a landmark nuclear deal signed with dominant powers in 2015.
Last year, the U.S withdrew from the deal and imposed stringent economic sanctions on Iran.
(With inputs from Al Jazeera, Press TV)