Mon, Feb 12, 2018 - Page 4 News List

Tehran celebrates 39 years since the Islamic revolution

AP, TEHRAN and DUBAI

Hundreds of thousands of Iranians yesterday rallied on the streets to mark the 39th anniversary of the 1979 Islamic revolution, just weeks after anti-government protests rocked cities across the country.

Demonstrators burned US and Israeli flags, as well as images of US President Donald Trump, whose refusal to recertify the nuclear deal with world powers has riled Iranians.

Such activities commonly mark the anniversary, which commemorates the overthrow of US-backed Iranian Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi.

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani made a point to call for unity among Iranians across its political spectrum, from hard-liners backing the theocratic government to reformists demanding change.

“When the revolution took place, we pushed some off the revolutionary train that we should have not,” Rouhani told a massive crowd at Tehran’s central Azadi Square. “Today, we have to let them board the train again.”

Rouhani did not specifically name those pushed aside, though the revolution and its aftermath saw the Muslims surrounding Ruhollah Khomeini purge liberals, communists and others.

More recently, Iran has put leaders of its 2009 Green Movement under house arrest, where they remain even today, despite Rouhani’s pledges to free them.

In his speech, Rouhani also promised more job opportunities and better economic condition in the near future.

DUAL CITIZEN DIES

Meanwhile, an Iranian-Canadian university professor detained in Tehran has died in custody, activists and a family member said yesterday, marking the latest suspicious death of a detainee in Iran after a crackdown on dissent following the recent protests.

They identified the professor as Kavous Seyed-Emami, a 63-year-old professor of sociology at Imam Sadeq University in Tehran and the managing director of the Persian Heritage Wildlife Foundation.

His son and the New York-based Center for Human Rights in Iran said that authorities told Seyed-Emami’s family that he committed suicide in custody, something they described as suspicious following other detainee deaths.

Tehran Prosecutor Abbas Jafari Dolatabadi on Saturday said that authorities had arrested several unidentified people on suspicion of spying.

Global Affairs Canada said it was aware of reports of Seyed-Emami’s death.

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