Hundreds of thousands of Iranians marched and some burned U.S. flags to mark the revolution’s 40th anniversary on Monday as Tehran showed off ballistic missiles in defiance of U.S. efforts to curb its military power.
Soldiers, students, clerics and black-clad women holding small children thronged streets across Iran, many with portraits of Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, the Shi’ite cleric who toppled the Shah in an Islamic uprising. On Feb. 11, 1979, Iran’s army declared its neutrality, paving the way for the fall of U.S.-backed Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi.
State television showed crowds carrying Iranian flags in cold rainy weather, shouting “Death to Israel, Death to America” – trademark chants of the revolution.
Reporters flocked to the rally to ask, of all people, children why were there. The children’s responses are chilling, to say the least:
Young Girl 1: We respond to the call of the Leader. Little Girl 1: Death to America! Young Girl 2: We stand behind our Leader and are willing to pay with our lives.
Reporter: You have brought your daughter. Why? Father 1: I would like to tell the enemy that our children are ready. They are also soldiers for Iran. Young Boy: Death to America … Trump would not dare do anything in our country. Reporter: You brought your kid to the rally. There’s a huge crowd. Isn’t it difficult to come with the little one? Father 2: Yes, it is, but she should learn this path and continue on it. We should always teach our kids “Death to America,” so that it flows in their very being.
If that isn’t strange enough, one reporter gets a puppet to ask small children in attendance at the rally to chant ‘death to America’.
Puppet: What’s your name? Fatemeh: My name is Fatemeh. Puppet: Dear Fatemeh, why did you come here today? Fatemeh: I’ve come to chant slogans. Puppet: What is happening here today? What day is it? Fatemeh: Today is Bahman 22 (February 11). Puppet: What happened on Bahman 22? Fatemeh: Imam [Khomeini], Allah’s mercy upon him, came to Iran. Puppet: What else happened? Fatemeh: The Shah was defeated. Puppet: And the Revolution won, right? Fatemeh: Right. Puppet: With whom did you come here today? Fatemeh: With my family. Puppet: Can you chant any slogans? Fatemeh: Yes. Puppet: So go ahead. Fatemeh: Death to America! Death to Israel! Death to England!
President Donald Trump tweeted on Monday that the Iranian government had let down its people.
“40 years of corruption. 40 years of repression. 40 years of terror. The regime in Iran has produced only #40YearsofFailure. The long-suffering Iranian people deserve a much brighter future,” he posted.