(CNSNews.com) – Iran on Sunday marked the 34th anniversary of its Islamic revolution with a show of defiance towards the United States, predictions of Israel’s eradication, and fresh attempts to take credit for the so-called “Arab spring.”
The Tehran Times and other pro-regime media noted that at rallies in the capital and elsewhere, “Down with the United States” and “Death to Israel” were among the slogans being chanted.
February 10 marks the culmination of what Iran calls the “Ten Day Dawn” – the 10 days in 1979 between Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini’s return from exile and the fall of the U.S.-backed Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi.
“The Islamic Republic continues to march towards the pinnacles of progress in every field,” declared Kayhan, an influential newspaper closely associated with supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.
“This is the reason there is panic in the camp of the Great Satan and his devilish surrogates.”
In an editorial the paper noted the significance of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s trip last week to Egypt – now under a Muslim Brotherhood government – the first such visit since 1979.
(The two countries had a serious rift over Egypt’s peace treaty with Israel, Egypt’s support for Iraq during the Iran-Iraq war and, especially, the state burial Egypt gave the ousted Shah, who died in 1980. Following President Anwar Sadat’s assassination the following year, Iran angered Egypt by naming a street in Tehran for the leader of the assassination plot.)
“Today, Egypt has returned to the Islamic fold,” said Kayhan, noting that even as Iran celebrates the anniversary of the Ten Day Dawn its president “is being feted in Cairo.”
“The revolution which Imam Khomeini had dubbed as the Explosion of Light, has indeed triggered the Islamic Awakening,” the paper said.
“Without the least doubt, the wave of Islamic Awakening that is sweeping the Arab world, inspired by the historic events in Iran over three decades ago, seems all poised to make more heads roll this year, following the ouster of four notorious dictators in the past two years,” it said, in reference to the toppled leaders of Egypt, Libya, Tunisia and Yemen.
“Insha Allah [Allah willing], very soon, the illegal Zionist entity will be removed from the map of Palestine,” it added. That would sound “the death knell for the cowardly compromisers including the unelected, unpopular, and oppressive Arab regimes of the Persian Gulf which are at the end of their wits.”
'Capitalism is on its death bed'
Addressing a large crowd in Tehran’s Azadi Square, Ahmadinejad delivered a speech trumpeting an Islamic future.
“The arrogant powers and uncultured Zionists have reached the end of their path, heading toward a dead end,” the Mehr news agency quoted him as saying. “Marxism has gone and capitalism is on its death bed.”
Ahmadinejad also responded to Vice President Joe Biden’s recent statement that a four year-old U.S. offer to Iran to hold direct bilateral talks remains open.
Echoing the supreme leader, who late last week rejected the notion of direct talks, Ahmadinejad said the U.S. offered to talk while threatening Iran “under the pretext” of concern about its nuclear programs.
“Holding a gun over the Iranian nation’s head and expecting Iran to come to the negotiating table is not logical and will not bear a result,” he said in the speech, which was broadcast on state television.
“I say it openly, a change in the manner of speaking is necessary but it is not enough. If you stop pointing the gun at the people of Iran, I will personally begin talks,” added Ahmadinejad, whose second and last term in office ends in August.
The president alluded to Iran’s theory that it provides the inspiration for the “Arab spring,” saying the ongoing upheavals in the region show that the Islamic revolution has no geographical border and will not stop.
Despite Western pressure, he said, Iran’s development was unhindered, citing among other recent achievements the sending of a monkey into orbit as part of a developing space program.
“Today, the most cynic[al] and immoral enemies of the Iranian nation admit that the Iranian nation and country is one of the most independent nations and countries in the world and no one can impose their will on the Iranian nation,” he said, according to a Fars news agency report.
“Today, no power can make the slightest imposition against the Iranian nation, and this nation will not retreat one iota from its basic rights.”
“Today Iran is a country with nuclear knowhow, whether you [Western powers] like it or not,” he said. “Therefore it would better for you to accept it and try to find some understanding with us.”
Tehran says its nuclear program – which it concealed from the international community for almost two decades before regime opponents exposed elements of it in 2002 – is for peaceful electricity-generation, medical and research purposes only.
Western governments and experts believe it is a cover for attempts to develop a nuclear weapons capability.