Fajr Decade celebrations got off to a lively start in Iran, marking the lead-up to the 42nd anniversary of the Islamic Revolution that toppled the U.S.-backed Pahlavi regime.
The annual celebrations began Sunday morning, commemorating the moment the late founder of the Islamic Republic, Imam Khomeini (F), ended his exile in Paris and disembarked from an Air France jumbo jet at home, where he was met with a massive welcome party.
Millions of Iranians crowded into Tehran’s Mehrabad Airport to catch a glimpse of the iconoclast’s return from nearly 15 years of exile, the imminent arrival of which saw the British-installed, U.S.-backed shah flee the country.
The celebrations culminate on Feb. 10, marking the resounding triumph of the Islamic Revolution that liberated Iran from internal despotism and foreign hegemony. The victory came under the leadership of Imam Khomeini (F), who ended 2,500 years of monarchy in Iran.
On Saturday, the head of the Islamic Revolution, Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei, visited Imam Khomeini’s mausoleum in southern Tehran to pay homage to the founder of the Islamic Republic.
With the new anniversary, Islamic Iran ends a difficult year marked by the assassination of two icons – a military commander and a nuclear scientist – and the escalation of maximum pressure on Tehran by the United States amid a pandemic aimed at toppling the Islamic Republic.
Throughout its existence, the Islamic Republic has been the target of incessant hostility from the United States, but the previous Trump administration brought it to a head. National Security Adviser John Bolton said in 2017, “Ayatollah Khomeini’s 1979 revolution will not last until the end of its 40th birthday.”
“The Islamic Revolution turned 42; seven American presidents have disappeared,” the Iranian daily Kayhan said on its front page.
“Islamic Iran’s astonishing progress in all fields, including its profound influence on cultural, social, intellectual and political developments outside Iran’s borders, is a testament to Imam Khomeini’s far-sighted vision,” Kayhan International wrote.