Iranians took to the streets “in very large numbers” to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the Islamic Revolution, Tehran Times reported Monday, noting that the rallies are taking place in more than 1,000 cities and 10,000 villages across the country, undeterred by the winter cold, rainfalls, and snowfalls.”
The official news agency IRNA put that figure at a humbler 1,000 cities and 4,000 villages.
According to the World Population Review, Iran has 6 cities with more than a million people, 61 cities with between 100,000 and 1 million people, and 135 cities with between 10,000 and 100,000 people.
The 10-day period from the Ayatollah Khomeini’s return from Paris to Tehran on February 1, 1979, until the revolution’s victory on February 11, is celebrated in Iran annually, dubbed as the “Ten-Day Fajr (Dawn).”
Addressing people in Azadi (Freedom) Square in Tehran, President Hassan Rouhani said the huge turnout in rallies “means the enemy will not achieve its evil goals” and the revolution will “continue its path like the past 40 years.”
In a reference to the US-imposed sanctions against Iran, Rouhani said the participation of people in marches, including in Tehran, indicates that the “one-year plots of the enemy (against Iran) have ended in failure.”
The deputy political affairs head for Iran’s powerful Revolutionary Guards Corps, Yadollah Javani, threatened to punish the United States by attacking its strongest ally in the Middle East, Israel, if Washington were to decide to open a conflict with the Islamic Republic — even though none has been suggested. Javani declared in a statement quoted by IRNA, “The United States does not have the courage to shoot a single bullet at us despite all its defensive and military assets. But if they attack us, we will raze Tel Aviv and Haifa to the ground.”
Oil Minister Bijan Zanganeh, who also participated in the rallies, said, “We are a resistant nation and will emerge victorious in the sanctions as we emerged victor in the imposed war.”
That last term was a reference to the lengthy Iran-Iraq war which then Iraq’s president Saddam Hussein launched against Iran after the revolution.