Iran marks 45th anniversary of Islamic Revolution amid wider Mid East tensions

11 February 2024, 11:44

Iranians attend a rally in Tehran commemorating the 1979 Islamic Revolution
Iran Revolution Anniversary. Picture: PA

Thousands of Iranians marched through major streets and squares decorated with flags, balloons and banners carrying revolutionary and religious slogan

Iran marked the 45th anniversary of the 1979 Islamic Revolution on Sunday amid ongoing tensions in the wider Middle East over Israel’s continued war on Hamas in the Gaza Strip.

Thousands of Iranians marched through major streets and squares decorated with flags, balloons and banners carrying revolutionary and religious slogans.

In Tehran, crowds waved Iranian flags, chanted slogans, and carried placards with the traditional “Death to America” and “Death to Israel” written on them.

Iran Revolution Anniversary
Demonstrators in Tehran burn a US flag during their annual rally commemorating Iran’s 1979 Islamic Revolution (Vahid Salemi/AP)

Some burned US and Israeli flags, a common practice in pro-government rallies.

Processions started out from several points, converging at Azadi Square.

The military displayed a range of its missiles, including the Qassem Soleimani and Sejjil ballistic missiles, and the Simorgh satellite carrier in the square, where people took selfies with them.

During the celebrations, a paratrooper jumped from a plane while displaying a Palestinian flag.

Iran Revolution Anniversary
An Iranian paratrooper carrying a huge Palestinian flag floats near the Azadi (Freedom) monument tower in Tehran (Vahid Salemi/AP)

Many high-ranking Iranian officials attended the celebrations in Tehran, including hardline President Ebrahim Raisi.

He addressed the crowds in Azadi Square and called on the United Nations – in a speech broadcast by state TV – to expel “the Zionist regime”, as the crowds chanted “Death to Israel”.

Mr Raisi also said “the bombing of Gaza has to be stopped as soon as possible”.

The commander of the powerful Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, General Mohammad Salami, and General Esmail Ghaani, the head of the expeditionary force of Iran’s paramilitary Revolutionary Guard, also took part in the celebrations, while the head of the judiciary body, Gholamhossein Mohseni Ejehi, was at the rally in the central city of Isfahan.

Iran Revolution Anniversary
Domestically-built missiles and a satellite carrier were on display in Azadi (Freedom) Square in Tehran (Vahid Salemi/AP)

There was a heavy security presence in major cities across the country.

The anniversary came a month after a deadly attack by the extremist Islamic State group in the central city of Kerman that left at least 95 people dead during commemorations for prominent Iranian general Qassem Soleimani whom the US killed in a drone strike in 2020.

Iran has tried to blame the US and Israel for the attack as the Israeli offensive in the Gaza Strip continued.

The Islamic Republic launched missile attacks on Iraq and Syria. It then struck alleged anti-Iran Sunni militant group Jaish al-Adl targets in nuclear-armed Pakistan, which responded with its own strikes on Iran, further raising tensions in a region inflamed by the Israel-Hamas war.

Iran Revolution Anniversary
Demonstrators in Tehran burn a representation of the Israeli flag during the annual rally commemorating Iran’s 1979 Islamic Revolution (Vahid Salemi/AP)

Earlier in January, a drone attack killed three US troops in Jordan, which an umbrella group for Iran-backed factions known as the Islamic Resistance in Iraq claimed.

The US said it held Tehran responsible. Iran threatened to “decisively respond” to any US attack on the Islamic Republic.

The Islamic Revolution began with widespread unrest in Iran over the rule of Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi. The shah, secretly terminally-ill with cancer, fled the country in January 1979.

Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini then returned from exile and the government fell on February 11 1979, after days of mass demonstrations and confrontations between protesters and security forces.

By Press Association

Latest World News

See more Latest World News

Australia Double Fatality

Police asked not to march at Sydney Mardi Gras parade after alleged murders

Emmanuel Macron

Putting Western troops on the ground in Ukraine not ‘ruled out’, says Macron

Israel Palestinians

Biden ‘hopes Hamas ceasefire and hostage deal can take effect by next Monday’

James Cleverly is expected to address global leaders on Tuesday.

West must 'help people thrive in their own countries' to tackle migrant crisis, James Cleverly says

Don Henley

I never gave away draft lyrics of Hotel California, Eagles singer tells trial

Sweden's Prime Minister Ulf Kristersson and Prime Minister of Hungary Viktor Orbán

Hungary approves Sweden's bid to join Nato as the military alliance expands in the face of Russia's war in Ukraine

Election 2024 Trump

Judge in Trump hush-money case asked to issue gag order on former president

Hungarian parliament

Hungary’s parliament votes to ratify Sweden’s application to join Nato

St. Vincent Grenada Hijacked Yacht

Hijackers threw elderly couple overboard after capturing yacht, police say

Father Felice Palamara was presiding over Mass in the small town of Cessaniti, Calabria, in the southern region of Italy when he noticed an acrid smell coming from the wine

Priest handed poisoned chalice after mafia hitman spikes holy communion wine with bleach

WTO director-general Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala

Global economy weighed down by war, uncertainty and instability, says WTO chief

Donald Trump and his lawyers

Trump to appeal against £350m judgment made against him in fraud lawsuit

Damaged buildings seen after Russian forces completed their takeover of Avdiivka

Ukrainian troops pull back again amid Russia’s onslaught in east of country

Tunisian Imam Mahjoub Mahjoubi speaks at his home in the town of Soliman, February 23

Imam deported from France after labelling tricolore flag 'satanic' despite living in the country for 40 years

Gerard Depardieu

French actor Gerard Depardieu faces another sexual assault complaint

A Lebanese army vehicle blocks a road leading to a warehouse which was destroyed by Israeli air strikes

Israel’s air force attacks Hezbollah targets ‘deep inside Lebanon’