Iranians Remember Khomeini’s Iran
Ruhollah Sanati was born on what many called the night of victory in Iran’s Islamic Revolution. Named after the founder of the Islamic Republic, he runs an electrical hardware shop with his father in Tehran. Coming from a religious family, he appreciates the changes 1979 brought. . . . “The revolution has brought about remarkable technological advancement. Iran possesses technology that few others in the world have.” In Ruhollah’s view, the current government’s main weak point is the economy. Even for that, he doesn’t blame the Islamic Republic. “The whole world is in recession now, and we’re no different. But I think this government will definitely solve this problem. Otherwise it wouldn’t be called Islamic Republic.” More than half of Iran’s 17 million population were born after the revolution. Many are like Ruhollah. Their faith in the revolution is too strong to be shaken by economic shortcomings. They’ve invested their hopes in the Islamic Republic. “I hope Iran comes out of the current troubled waters. I do hope that it does. Without that hope, I wouldn’t be able to live my life.” . . . Reza Hedayat Kar is also 31. His life as a civil engineer has been affected by the overall economic slowdown, too, but he expects more than economic relief. “I quote Imam Khomeini on this. Freedom is a person’s right. It’s not something that anyone could bestow on people. And I think if we want to remain independent, we should seek freedom first.” He believes that the quest for freedom that started with the revolution is still very much alive and the opposition movement is proof of that. “I believe that the opposition movement is the continuation of the revolution, and the freedom that people wanted to protest lies within the framework of the constitution.” Despite many setbacks and the crackdown on Iran’s reformist movement and the opposition, Reza hopes that reforms will fulfill the promise that the revolution held when it was born, like Reza and Ruhollah, 31 years ago.
Iran Marks Anniversary of Khomeini’s Return
31 years on from that day, and more than 20 years on from his death, Ayatollah Khomeini is still loved by many Iranians. . . . “You can be sure that if these same young people had been present at that time, they would have done the same, even more. Our enemy should know that they can’t do anything to us.” But Imam Khomeini probably would not recognize northern Tehran. . . . Here, there’s little sign of celebration.
Both videos were released by Al Jazeera on 1 February 2010. The text above is composed of partial transcripts of the videos.