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Iran celebrates 31 years of sovereignty

By Kosta Harlan |
February 12, 2010
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Millions demonstrate in Tehran
Millions demonstrate in Tehran to commemorate the 31st anniversary of the revolution that ousted the U.S.-backed monarchy. (Iranian Student News Agency)

Tehran, Iran – Millions of Iranians rallied on Feb. 11 to commemorate the 31st anniversary of the revolution that overthrew the hated U.S.-backed Pahlavi monarchy. In Tehran a massive crowd of 5 million took to the streets, while rallies were held in 800 other cities around the country.

Iran's ambassador to the United Nations, Mohammad Khazaee, commented that the enormous demonstrations showed "the nation's determination in maintaining national the realization of political, economic and social developments and particularly in advancing civilian nuclear technology." Addressing the propaganda in Western media that attempts to show the Iranian government as unpopular or weakened by the opposition movement, Khazaee said, "The Islamic Republic has now become a powerful and strategic country, where people enjoy a strong sense of unity and solidarity. It is a fact that Western powers must learn to deal with."

However, it is precisely this fact that is proving a bitter pill to swallow for the imperialist powers. Intent on grabbing Iran's vast oil and natural gas reserves, the U.S., Britain and other imperial powers will muster everything in their powers to overthrow Iran's independent government and bring Iran and its resources under their control. President Hugo Chavez of Venezuela, a country also resisting U.S. imperialism, commented on Feb. 12, "Venezuela clearly understands the struggle of Iran, because it is the same struggle for sovereignty. We must continue rejecting the claim of Yankee imperialism from the U.S. which seeks to prevent the economic and energy development in Iran."

This is why every disturbance aimed against the Iranian government is amplified by mass media in the West. This is the same media which has never dedicated a minute of broadcast time to highlight the millions of Iraqis who protested the U.S. occupation, the Afghans who protest U.S. air strikes that kill innocent civilians or indeed any movement that is genuinely opposed to the interests of imperialism. The corporate media has run hundreds of hours of coverage of Iran's opposition movement and done everything possible to portray Iran's government as unpopular. In the United States, this propaganda is clearly aimed at convincing the public that U.S. intervention - military, economic, political - in Iran is justified.

However, no matter how many times a lie is repeated, it does not change the objective facts. On Feb. 3, the World Public Opinion organization, a well-respected independent organization, recently completed a significant 37-page report with a detailed analysis of multiple polls conducted in Iran since June 2009. The report and data collected offers great insight into the realities on the ground in Iran today. The post-election polls clearly confirm that Ahmadinejad won the election fairly in a landslide victory over his opponents. The polls also find that seven out of ten Iranians see President Ahmadinejad as the legitimate president, while eight in ten think the June elections were free and fair. In the June elections, Ahmadinejad carried majority support among the youth (53-61% of ages up to 25 who voted), women (58-67% of women who voted supported Ahmadinejad), rural Iranians (71%), and urban Iranians (51-59%).

Despite Iran's show of unity and steadfastness on Feb. 11, the U.S. pressure for sanctions and threats against the country are bound to increase. Iran's support for resistance movements in Lebanon and Palestine, its assertiveness and ability to chart an independent course, are bound to place it in a collision course with the United States. U.S. threats of sanctions, air strikes and attacks against Iran must be taken seriously by the progressive movement in the United States.