/ AFP / Atta KENARE (Photo credit should read ATTA KENARE/AFP/Getty Images) TEHRAN, Iran (AP) — Iranians on Friday marked the anniversary of the country’s 1979 Islamic Revolution with nationwide celebrations and mass rallies that saw people step on large U. flags laid out on the streets while President Hassan Rouhani called the new American administration “a problem.” This year, the anniversary came against the backdrop of remarks by President Donald Trump, who has already engaged in a war of words with Iran’s leadership and put Tehran “on notice” over its recent ballistic missile test. have not had diplomatic relations since 1979, when Iranian students stormed the American Embassy and took 52 Americans hostage for 444 days. 11 of that year, when followers of Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini ousted the U. The United States helped orchestrate the 1953 coup that overthrew Iran’s popular prime minister, Mohammad Mossadegh, which brought Pahlavi to power and set the stage for decades of mistrust between the countries. S.” — a reference to remarks by Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, Iran’s supreme leader, earlier this week.
At the Tehran rallies Friday, demonstrators chanted traditional slogans against the United States and Israel, and later, hundreds of thousands marched toward the city’s central Azadi Square, where Rouhani addressed the crowds, telling them that Iran will strongly answer any threat from its enemies. presidents lay scattered on the streets — so they could be trampled by the marchers. Some of the posters distributed in English on Friday read: “Thanks to American people for supporting Muslims.” Another one with a picture of Trump said: “Thanks Mr. Khamenei said on Tuesday that the “newcomer” Trump has shown the “real face” of the United States.
Iranian dual nationals and citizens returning from abroad were at particular risk of arrest by intelligence authorities, accused of being “Western agents.” Despite an initial slowdown in executions in the first months of 2016, authorities had executed at least 203 individuals by October 25.
Despite three years in his office, President Hassan Rouhani has not delivered on his campaign promise of greater respect for civil and political rights.
Executions, especially for drug-related offenses, continued at a high rate.
However, the initiative, while welcomed by several authorities, has not moved forward.
On August 2, authorities announced that they had executed at least 20 alleged members of a group Iran considers a terrorist organization on charges of , or “enmity against God.” Rights groups believe that these individuals were among a group of 33 Sunni Kurdish men arrested in 20, and sentenced to death in unfair trials after enduring abuses and torture in detention.