Iran’s Revolution at 43: Officials Reflect

On the 43rd anniversary of Iran’s revolution, its leaders struck a defiant tone. They criticized both past and present U.S. policy. “Today too, the Americans’ calculations have turned out to be wrong, and they are receiving a blow from a place they had never imagined before, from their own presidents – the current one and the previous one,” Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei told military officers on February 8. Presidents Trump and Biden “have joined hands to destroy with their actions whatever was left of the U.S.’ reputation.”

President Raisi with a painting of Ayatollah Khomeini

President Ebrahim Raisi said that Iran had overcome the U.S. “maximum pressure” campaign initiated by the Trump administration. “With this defeat, it became clear that the result of resistance and endurance will be divine victory,” he said on February 2 at the mausoleum of late revolutionary leader Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini.

Raisi said that Iran has not pinned hope on talks in Vienna with the world's major powers on restoring the 2015 nuclear deal. “We put our hopes on the east, west, north, south of our country and never have any hope in Vienna and New York,” he said in a televised speech on February 11.

The foreign ministry urged U.S. officials to abandon “the path of pressure and coercion” in the ongoing negotiations. “Now in Vienna, they face a test. They can choose a different path with different results,” it said in a statement. “By recognizing the realities of Iran and effectively abandoning the Maximum Failure approach, the U.S. can open up new possibilities. The ball is in their court.”

Iran traditionally holds commemorations starting on February 1, the anniversary of Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini's return from exile, and the start of the “10 Days of Dawn,” which culminates in nationwide rallies on February 11. In 2021 and 2022, however, the government curtailed the size of the events in keeping with COVID-19 protocols. A reduced number of pedestrians participated in the rallies. But many families joined by car or motorbike. The following are remarks by Iranian leaders on the 43rd anniversary of the revolution.


Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei

In an address to Air Force commanders and Army personnel on Feb. 8, 2022: “Although the current generation of the Air Force was not present on that day [that the Air Force pledged loyalty to Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini], all those who are working in the Air Force in a dutiful manner have a share in the honor achieved on that day. Because that move was actually a pledge of allegiance to the ideals and that holy struggle under the authoritative command of Imam [Khomeini]. Therefore, that spiritual movement is continuing at the present time as well, and all those who move on the path of those ideals are sharing in it.”

“That movement also showed that the calculations of the U.S. and the sinister Pahlavi regime were wrong, and they were dealt a blow from a place they never imagined.”

Khamenei“If the forces in the camp of truth and Islam have an active, effective, hopeful participation in every field of endeavor – including military, scientific, research and other fields – and if they show no fear of the superficial power and splendor of the other side, then the enemy’s calculations will definitely turn out to be wrong because this is God’s inviolable promise.”

“Today too, the Americans’ calculations have turned out to be wrong, and they are receiving a blow from a place they had never imagined before, from their own presidents – the current one and the previous one. They have joined hands to destroy with their actions whatever was left of the U.S.’ reputation.”

“The Americans’ presence in Iran’s Army was a sad story about which today’s young generation are not probably well-informed. One example of them was the frequent use of the Iranian army by the U.S. and England for suppressing other innocent nations. This was one of the Pahlavi regime’s betrayals against the Iranian Army and the Iranian nation. It was also a crime against other nations.”

Supreme Leader Khamenei
Supreme Leader Khamenei

“In order to implement this policy [of distorting the truth], they [anti-Iranian media] attempt to decorate the ugly, corrupt face of the tyrannical regime and cover up its crimes. Worse, they even work to adorn the totally criminal nature of SAVAK. And on the other hand, by distorting the image of the Revolution and Imam Khomeini, they completely hide the achievements and positive aspects of the Revolution and magnify weak points by hundreds of times. Therefore, in the face of this aggression by the media, the struggle for clarification is a definite, urgent need.”

“They put a ban on the publication of any word or picture that is contrary to the West’s policies. At the same time, they use that same environment to destroy Islam and the Islamic Republic.”

“In the face of this hybrid and comprehensive aggression, we cannot remain in a position of defense forever. We too must be active in using a combination of forces in various areas including the media, security and economic areas. The intellectuals and especially the officials of the country have a duty to work in these areas.”

“In the same way that the Islamic Republic has moved forward powerfully over the past 43 years, and as it has become more powerful and deeply rooted day by day, this movement too, with God’s grace, will continue even better in the future than it has in the past and the enemy will continue to fail.”


President Ebrahim Raisi

In a speech on Feb. 11, 2022: "In these days, what is necessary for all of us and all those who care about the Islamic Revolution, especially our young generation, is to know the Islamic Revolution, especially its identifying elements."

Raisi"The element of justice can never be separated from the Islamic Revolution, because within the Islamic Revolution, justice-seeking, anti-oppression and anti-corruption are institutionalized."

"That oppressive regime was the full manifestation of tyranny, dictatorship, submission to the dominating powers and arrogance against the will of the people."

"The Islamic Revolution came to overthrow this corrupt regime, which was supported by the dominating powers, and to establish a system based on religion and what the people have repeatedly shouted "independence, freedom, the Islamic Republic."

"What the Islamic Revolution is shouting is independence, national dignity, brotherhood, denial of domination and oppression."

"We neither seek to dominate anywhere in the world, nor we give up our independence, and we are not willing to oppress anyone in the world; These are among the principles of the Islamic Revolution that are still stable."

"These values are values that people have always emphasized, so you see Iranians everywhere in the world are proud of this revolution. Today, not only the Muslim people of the world, but also the non-Muslim people, but the freedom-loving and justice-loving people of the world, the deprived and the oppressed in all parts of the world, love this revolution."

"Today, we are proud that in the popular administration, we have put the republic and the people and justice in the sense that the important goal of the Islamic Revolution as the main axis in the government."

"There is still a long way to go before we can have economic independence as political independence in the country. All capacities are ready for economic independence, but some misconceptions, some apprehensions, and some versions that did not fit the original versions of the Islamic Revolution have caused some backwardness."

"The day we started took office, 700 people were losing their lives every day because of coronavirus. But today, thanks to God Almighty and the help of the people and health officials, the situation is different."

"Thanks to God Almighty, today there is no concern about the stocks of basic goods in the country. The country will move towards production when it is based on investment and increasing productivity. Today, the country's capacities are identified and everyone is directed towards production and productivity."

"Our relations in foreign policy are to create a balance. Looking to the West has made the country unbalanced. We must pay attention to all countries and capacities, especially our neighbors. But we hope in God, we hope in Khuzestan, in Khorasan, in Azerbaijan, east, west, north and south of the country, and we never hope in Vienna and New York."

"I want to tell the boys, girls and young people of the country that the future is very bright and hopeful."


In a speech at the mausoleum of Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini on Feb. 2, 2022: “Trusting in God and involving people were two important principles in the peaceful movement of the great Imam and the interpretation of the Islamic Republic of Iran to religious democracy is the expression of the fact that people are central to the Islamic system.”

Raisi at Khomeini's mausoleum on February 2

“The Late Imam [Khomeini]'s view of the people was not a ceremonial and political view, but he believed in the presence, participation and power of the people.”

“According to Imam Khomeini's view on paying attention to the people, anywhere people have been involved, we are witnessing significant successes and victories in that field.”

“According to the teachings of the late Imam's school, the most important principle in the transformation and implementation of justice is formed with the presence of the people.”

“The field of justice requires men and women who exercise justice and one of the central points of change in society is that people should be fair, have a fair law and make fair judgments.”

“At a time when everyone was fleeing from justice in word and deed, the late Imam taught us that in this society, change can be made in the name of religion and justice, and he himself raised the banner of justice.”

“In the last 40 years, very good actions and services have been done in various fields, but the enemies are still trying to prevent the religious system from being fully established and developed, but they have not succeeded so far and will not have the opportunity in the future as well.”

“With this defeat [of the U.S. ‘maximum pressure’ campaign], it became clear that the result of resistance and endurance will be divine victory.”

“Saving the country, solving problems and prosperity of people's lives depends on acting on this line of light [of Khomeini].”


In a speech to foreign ambassadors on Feb. 10, 2022: "This revolution is the product of the people's deep belief in the transcendent principles and values of Islam, freedom, justice and intelligent leadership."

"The strategic thought of the Islamic Republic of Iran is rooted in the school of Imam Khomeini, the founder of the Islamic Revolution and the concept of pure Islam."

"These ideals are universal values, disagreement with which means denying human and moral values, and the proud Iranian nation still stand by these ideals."

"The foreign policy of the popular administration, since the beginning of its office, has been based on the Supreme Leader's guidelines, which are 'Maximum interaction with neighboring countries and allies', 'attention to the capacity of regional and international organizations' and 'development of economic diplomacy."

"In our efforts for a new approach in the field of diplomacy, we are trying to create a new chapter of cooperation and multilateralism."

"In this regard, we have implemented an important part of the 25-year strategic partnership agreement with the People's Republic of China. We have a similar agreement with the Russian Federation on the agenda, and trying to strengthen cooperation with the Eurasian Economic Union and becoming a permanent member of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization."

"We have also taken effective steps to improve relations with all neighbors and by strengthening ports and transit corridors, we have prepared the way for the development and expansion of cooperation with neighbors."

Raisi"Although the development of relations with neighboring countries and Asia and the activation of economic diplomacy by prioritizing the economy in foreign interactions, especially with Asian partners, is one of the priorities of the diplomatic apparatus, but due to balanced, dynamic and intelligent foreign policy, special attention is paid to deepening relations and increasing cooperation with the aim of benefiting from reciprocal capacities with other geographical regions such as Africa, Latin America and Europe."

"We are trying to establish and operate a coherent and continuous relationship with other geographical areas and in accordance with the strategic weight, political, economic and commercial position of each region, with a realistic view and away from any influence of external factors and redundant variables."

"Being in a sensitive and important political and economic situation and having wide sea coasts and very high capacities, especially in the fields of transit, energy, trade, agriculture, industry and technology, the Islamic Republic of Iran is interested in creating and continuing a new atmosphere of cooperation and beneficial relations with neighboring, surrounding and friendly countries in order to meet the mutual needs and interests based on the policy of maximum interaction."

"Unique investment opportunities, suitable domestic market, privileged geographical position along with stable and continuous internal security, create suitable conditions for transit connection and crossing of energy lines and the possibility of improving the quantity and quality of commodity trade in Iran."

"Nevertheless, the Islamic Republic of Iran, backed by domestic efforts and having a rich history, civilization and culture, is an undeniable reality in the politics of the region and the world and a friendly and reliable partner country and a special focus for economic integration with neighbors and other international partners."


Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian

In a statement on Feb. 10, 2022: “Dear compatriots of Iran, please accept my most cordial congratulations on the occasion of the anniversary of the Ten Days of Dawn (Fajr) and the victory of the glorious Islamic Revolution of Iran.

“I am very pleased to emphasize that our country, in the fifth decade of its new life, has made huge progress in various scientific, technological, industrial an defense fields. Undoubtedly; the economic prosperity of the country will be achieved quickly and powerfully and with serious planning and follow up in the near future.

“The thirteenth government in the Islamic Republic of Iran, through a balanced foreign policy approach, dynamic diplomacy, intelligent and powerful interactions, will advance and achieve the goals and interests of the great nation of Iran. At the Vienna negotiating table, we are pursuing serious negotiations to reach a good and lasting agreement. All our efforts are focused on the effective lifting of sanctions against the great nation of Iran. We are optimistic about the future and hope that all parties will return to their commitments around the Vienna talks. At the same time, at home, we are vigorously pursuing sustainable policies and programs of economic development.

“We commemorate the memory of the dear martyrs and sacrificers. Good luck.”


U.N. Ambassador Majid Takht Ravanchi


Foreign Ministry

In a statement on Feb. 7, 2022: This week our nation is celebrating the victory of a revolution- led by Grand Ayatollah Imam Khomeini- that was the triumph of the will and self-belief of our people, who, against all odds, overthrew a tyrannical foreign-backed regime.

43 years ago, a decades-long national struggle for self-determination; for a modern (but nationally decided) system of governance; and for an independent foreign policy, came into fruition in the form of the Islamic Republic of Iran.

In an era that was characterized by fierce rivalry between two superpowers, their respective ideologies, and their spheres of influence, the Islamic Revolution of the Iranian nation presented a new model- a third way, best encapsulated in the historic and ever-lasting mottos of the Revolution: Independence, freedom and Islamic Republic & Neither East, Nor West.

Inside the country, for the first time in our history, our people were able to attain a right to determine their destiny in a system that created a delicate and meaningful synthesis of our national identity and Islamic values. Also, in the international arena, the Islamic Revolution was a voice of reason, independence, and rejection of foreign interference and dominance. And from the outset, the newly born Islamic Republic stood with the oppressed people, whether they were under occupation in Palestine or under an apartheid regime in South Africa.

More than four decades on, those values continue to guide us. As a result of that and thanks to the resilience of our nation, today the Islamic Republic as a mature system is in its most powerful state ever, and has become an indispensable and responsible actor, a force of good, and an anchor of stability in the region and beyond.

To reach here, Iranian nation has paved a long way, full of obstacles and barriers, mostly manufactured and set up by those foreign powers who have been refusing to come along with and grasp the new realities of the NEW Iran. From imposing a deadly war, to launching unending campaigns of economic terrorism, sabotage, and psychological warfare, those powers who were opposed to our revolution, our independence, and our self-reliance, did all they could to stop our popular movement. But the will and resilience of the great and proud nation of Iran was and is, stronger than their schemes. Despite all hardships and ups and downs, grassroots support remains the main source of the power of the Islamic Republic of Iran.

Regretfully, 43 years after the Islamic Revolution, some Western states, the United States in particular, still refuse to accept the fact that the rights and interests of Iranian nation should be respected. By insisting on the failed policies of the past four decades, they should not expect different results. The path of pressure and coercion has proven to be a miserable failure. Now in Vienna, they face a test. They can choose a different path with different results. By recognizing the realities of Iran and effectively abandoning the Maximum Failure approach, the U.S. can open up new possibilities. The ball is in their court.


Some of the information in this article was originally published on February 9, 2022.