TEHRAN – Millions of Iranians from all walks of life held rallies across the country to commemorate the 34th anniversary of the Islamic Revolution on Sunday.
In the capital, hundreds of thousands of people converged on the streets leading to Azadi Square, where Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad addressed the people.
The demonstration in Tehran was covered by over 3800 Iranian and foreign correspondents and photojournalists.
Some marchers carried pictures of the late Imam Khomeini, the Founder of the Islamic Republic, and Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei, the current Leader of the Islamic Revolution.
The people chanted “God Is Great,” “Down with the United States,” “Death to Israel,” and other slogans.
Almost all senior and mid-ranking officials attended the demonstrations, and they praised the people for their massive and glorious participation in the national marches.
A number of foreign diplomats based in Tehran also attended the demonstration in the capital.
Dialogue with Iran should be based on respect, justice
In his speech, Ahmadinejad commented on the United States’ offer of bilateral talks with Iran, saying, “Recently, they have changed their tone and are using better language. They say, ‘We want to negotiate.’ We also say, ‘Dialogue is much better than confrontation.’ The Iranian nation has always been in favor of understanding, but dialogue has its own principles, and as the Supreme Leader said, you cannot point a gun at the Iranian nation and then say negotiate and expect negotiations.
“Dialogue is meant for understanding, justice, clearing up misunderstandings, and strengthening convergence. Dialogue should not be used as a tool to impose opinions.
“I clearly say that a revision of the discourse is necessary but is not sufficient. If you stop pointing the gun at the Iranian nation, I will negotiate myself. Negotiations should be held based on respect and justice, not pressure.”
He went on to say that the Iranian people have not succumbed to the pressure, adding, “This nation will not relinquish an iota of their fundamental rights.”
The hegemonistic powers have failed in their efforts to prevent Iran from making progress, Ahmadinejad said. “Today, the Iranian nation is one of the most respected nations.”
Elsewhere in his remarks, Ahmadinejad hailed the country’s achievements in various areas and said that an Iranian satellite, which will be placed above the Earth at an altitude of 36,000 kilometers (22,370 miles) in the near future, will send a message of “peace” and “friendship” to all nations.
He was most likely referring to the Zohreh satellite, which is scheduled to be sent into a geostationary orbit, which is a circular orbit 35,786 kilometers above the Earth’s equator and following the direction of the Earth’s rotation.
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