By Pooya Stone
41 years ago, on February 11, 1979, the Iranian people could eventually overthrow a long-time monarchic dictatorship. However, they didn’t achieve what they had arisen for, including freedom, justice, equality, and prosperous life. Regrettably, Ruhollah Khomeini suddenly emerged and styled himself as the leader of the Iranian revolution relying on the Guadeloupe accord.
Every year, the Iranian regime holds various ceremonies on the anniversary of February 11. Officials pursue to demonstrate the popular support for their religious fascism with dragging more people in formality processions. These ceremonies are supposed to show the “unity” among the different factions and the society; however, every year the people’s presence is reducing and the rift between the regime and citizens is revealing more. On the other hand, authorities abuse these ceremonies to attack their rivals.
In Tehran, the capital, during President Hassan Rouhani’s speech, supporters of the supreme leader Ali Khamenei jeered him. They chanted, “Death to the hypocrite,” while carrying the posters of the slain Revolutionary Guards (IRGC) Quds Force’s commander Qassem Soleimani, Khamenei, and the regime’s founder Khomeini.
“A much smaller crowd participated in Azadi [Freedom] square in comparison with last years. The most audience are my partners [security forces]. The people didn’t attend due to raising the prices. Security forces, workers of Tehran’s municipality, personnel of Red Crescent organization, and victims’ families of the Iran-Iraq war made up most of the crowd,” a member of the security forces revealed.
In Ardabil, northwestern Iran, the state-run TV broadcasted program that showed nice weather. However, according to footage obtained the height of snow had reached tens of centimeters.
In Isfahan, central Iran, on February 10, officials vowed that they would give a gold coin to students who attended the governmental ceremony. “Anyone who attends the 41st anniversary of the revolution and takes a selfie under the banner of the school and sends it to the school’s phone number would participate in the lottery and win a gold coin,” the director of a school told students in Isfahan.
Additionally, prison guards issued a 24-hour vacation for prisoners in return for attending the governmental procession on February 11. Prisoners could spend the whole day with their family and return to prison on February 12.
On the other hand, on February 10, the government-linked directors of Mobarakeh Steel Company announced that they would consider the employees’ participation in the ceremony as overtime and award those who attended 300,000 tomans. The directors, of course, specified that employees should punch their attendance card at the beginning and end of the ceremony.
In Shahrekord, central Iran, the people completely boycotted the formality procession on the occasion of the 41st anniversary of the revolution. “Around 200 people participated in the governmental procession. Some 50 of them were Basij agents and 150 others were students who were brought there under pressure and hollow promises,” an eyewitness said.
In Saqqez, western Iran, supporters of the main opposition group, the Mojahedin-e Khalq (MEK/PMOI), reported only a small number of officials’ families and relatives participated in the procession in this city. The people of Saqqez demonstrated their hatred of the entire regime once again and turned the governmental ceremony into a flagrant scandal.
In Urmia, northwestern Iran, footage provided by activists affiliated to the MEK shows that less than 100 people attended the ceremony in the main city square. A cameraman described this scandal as the countdown to the regime’s downfall.
In Arak, central Iran, “All the processions were held in two narrow streets alone. Most residents of these streets are traditional and religious families. The crowd consisted of old men and women. The remaining audience has been mobilized from government offices, military bases, etc.,” an eyewitness said.
Notably, the regime has slowed the internet speed to prevent the leaking of news and footage which reveal the scandalous ceremony on the occasion of the 41st anniversary of the usurped revolution. The people of Iran have proven their distrust and protest against religious fascism. However, they previously displayed their real desire for the overthrown of the theocratic regime and establishment of a free, democratic government.