Iran’s Revolution Marks 45th Anniversary

On Feb. 11, 2024, President Ebrahim Raisi addressed the nation to mark the 45th anniversary of the Iranian revolution. He heralded the Islamic Republic’s break from both East and West since the 1979 ouster of the U.S.-backed monarchy. “The time has passed when the heads of great powers come to Tehran and make decisions for Iran without the presence of high officials. Today, Iran enjoyed independence.” 

His toughest language was on Israel, which he charged was guilty of “crimes against humanity” and “child murder” during the war against Hamas in Gaza. Speaking from Azadi Square, the epicenter of the revolution 45 years ago, he said Israel is “doomed” because of its brutality. Raisi, a hardline cleric and former prosecutor implicated in mass executions in the late 1980s, also criticized the United States for complicity by supporting Israel. 

Abram Paley, the U.S. Special Envoy to Iran, used the anniversary, which ended more than two thousand years of dynastic rule, to condemn Tehran’s policies both at home and abroad. “45 years ago today, the revolution in Iran led to the establishment of a regime based on fear, violence and oppression. Human rights abuses against dissidents, journalists, artists and minorities persist on a daily basis and underline the regime’s weakness,” he tweeted. “Instead of embracing peace & prosperity, the Islamic Republic has brought only violence & corruption at home & abroad,” Paley wrote. “To the Iranian people: the US will continue to support you… to counter the regime’s support for terror, which comes only at your expense.” The following are excerpts from Raisi’s speech and photos from Tehran and the provinces. 



On the revolution and politics

“The enemies of the Iranian nation created many problems in the path of this nation and the revolution, but the awake, insightful, time-conscious and aware nation of Iran was able to overcome all of them.”

“Today, after the period of formation and stabilization of the system and the development of the message of the glorious Islamic revolution and awakening in the region and what we have seen from the achievements of the Islamic revolution, we see that the system of the Islamic Republic continues to advance with authority and does not recognize any obstacles in its path.”

“Islamic Iran is not a country dependent on the East and the West, it recognizes itself, makes decisions and acts. The message of neither East nor West has always been and still is the attention of the Iranian nation.”

“The time has passed when the heads of great powers come to Tehran and make decisions for Iran without the presence of high officials. Today, Iran enjoys independence.”

“Gone are the days when people were tortured for weeks for writing. Today, criticisms and words are said and written in the media, virtual and digital space.”

“Today in Islamic Iran, there is real respect for the vote and will of the people. One of the honors of the Islamic Republic is that since the beginning of the victory of the Islamic Revolution until now, it has held an election every year and has referred to the people's vote for the formation of all institutions.”

“Those who claim democracy do not respect the votes and wishes of the people of Palestine and Yemen, and even the opinion of their own people.”

“During the period of Sacred Defense (1980-1988 war with Iraq) and in various other political and social fields, and today in the field of progress, our success depends on the presence and participation of the people.”

“Before the revolution, we had to wait for foreign consultants to repair a device, but today, in different fields, we are independent.”


On foreign policy and adversaries

“Everyone knows how in the past Iran gave up its islands due to an American attack, but today, thanks to the Islamic Revolution and strengthening the country's military and defense authority, no one even imagines encroaching on this land and water.”

“When the enemy sees the presence of millions in more than 1,400 cities and 35,000 villages of the country, when people come to the stage and shout to defend the Islamic revolution, no one will dare to even think about invading this land and water.”

“For those who want to know the true nature of the criminal Zionist regime, America and some western countries, it is enough to look at Gaza as a picture of crimes against humanity, war crimes and child murder by the Zionists.”

“Everyone should know that the Zionist regime is doomed and that its death has come, and its supporters are only looking to buy time to postpone the death of these criminals.”

“Today, all governments should know the way to prevent the crimes of the Zionist regime and to destroy this regime is cutting off economic relations and exchanges with these criminals.”

“How can a regime that has violated more than 400 statements and resolutions of international organizations adhere to international obligations? Therefore, our proposal is to expel the Zionist regime from the United Nations.”


Photos from Tehran

Balloons added to the festive atmosphere at Azadi Square


A girl with the Iranian flag painted on her cheeks


An effigy of President Biden


U.S. and Israeli flags are burned during the commemoration


Women wearing sashes with photos of Iran's past and present supreme leaders


A man sporting a poster of Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and the flag of Hezbollah, the Lebanese militia and political movement


A bicycle festooned with flowers and photos of revolutionary leaders


A woman holding flowers and a poster of Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei


A woman holding an Iranian flag at the rally


Participants marching toward the Azadi Tower


A paraglider with the Palestinian flag


Photos from the Provinces

A stroller decorated with a photo of Supreme Leader Khamenei, balloons and flags


A man with a poster of Supreme Leader Khamenei


Families marching in a demonstration


Martial arts students holding flags


Schoolgirls waving flags at a rally


A little boy dressed in traditional Bakhtiari clothing with an Iranian flag, a Palestinian flag and a photo of the late General Qassem Soleimani


An elderly couple at a rally


Women in traditional clothing


A little girl with flags and a scooter


A man with a prayer rug with Supreme Leader Khamenei's image

Photo Credits:; Tasnim News Agency (CC BY 4.0)