Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi called for the exclusion of Israel from the UN on Sunday, in a speech delivered on the occasion of the 45th anniversary of the Islamic Revolution, celebrated by gatherings in Tehran and in major Iranian cities.
Iranian President Ebrahim RaisiPhoto: AFP / AFP / Profimedia
Support for the Palestinian cause, doubled by criticism of Western countries, especially the United States, was the main theme of this year’s ceremonies to mark the anniversary of the 1979 revolution, the news agencies France Presse and Agerpres.
“We propose to exclude the Zionist entity from the United Nations,” said President Ebrahim Raisi, referring to Israel, a country that Iran does not recognize.
Because “what is happening today in Gaza is a crime against humanity, and the supporters of this criminal regime are the United States and certain Western countries”, he added during a speech delivered in front of thousands of people gathered in Azadi Square (Freedoms ) from the capital on the occasion of this public holiday.
President Raissi accused Israel of having “violated 400 declarations, resolutions and agreements” concluded within “international organizations”.
Iran is one of the main supporters of Hamas in the war triggered on October 7, 2023 by an unprecedented attack by the Palestinian movement in southern Israel, resulting in more than 1,160 deaths, according to an AFP tally based on official Israeli data.
In retaliation, Israel has promised to “annihilate” Hamas, which, like the United States and the European Union, it considers a terrorist organization. The Israeli army has launched an offensive that has killed more than 28,000 people in Gaza, according to the Health Ministry of the Islamist movement, which has been in power in the territory since 2007.
“Down with the United States”, “Down with Israel” and “Down with the UK”
In Tehran’s Azadi Square, those gathered displayed the portraits of the supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, of the founder of the Islamic Republic, Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, and of the popular general Qassem Soleimani, killed in a raid by the American army in Baghdad in January 2020.
These included the slogans “Down with the United States”, “Down with Israel” and “Down with Great Britain”, the main opponents of the Islamic Republic since 1979.
Qiam ballistic missiles, Shahed 136 drones and Simorgh satellite launchers, all manufactured by Iran, were deployed around the huge square.
Western countries have accused Iran of supplying drones to Russia since the start of the war in Ukraine, which Tehran denies, and missiles to armed groups it supports in the Middle East, such as Yemen’s Houthi rebels.
In February 1979, a revolt by the revolutionary leader at the time, Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, led to the collapse of the monarchy.
In recent years, Iran’s leaders’ relationship with the West has deteriorated dramatically over Tehran’s controversial nuclear program, human rights abuses and Iran’s support for militant groups in the Middle East.
Most Iranians are indifferent to the Sunday holidays, DPA writes.
The celebrations come ahead of parliamentary elections on March 1, the first national vote since the huge protest movement that rocked Iran following the September 16, 2022, death of Mahsa Amini, who died 22 years after she was arrested for violating the Islamic Republic’s strict dress code.