Iran marks 40th anniversary of Islamic revolution in US much to Bolton's dismay

Iran marks 40th anniversary of Islamic revolution in US much to Bolton's dismay

Iran's de facto consul in Washington has hosted a reception to mark the 40th anniversary of the country’s 1979 revolution which overthrew the monarchy of the US-backed Pahlavi regime in Iran.

 Around 100 people including diplomats, analysts and journalists attended the annual gathering which took place on Friday.

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The director of the Iran Special Interests Section told Reuters that compared to last year, there were more foreign dignitaries at this year's event.

Their attendance, he said, signaled support for Iran’s decision to remain in the Iran nuclear deal, formally known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), irrespective of the unilateral US pullout.

"We told them that that we're going to stay in the agreement until the end," Mehdi Atefat said, referring to the diplomats he had spoken to. "Because Iran proved that whatever international agreement is there, we have to stick to the agreement."

Trump’s national security adviser, John Bolton, opposes direct negotiations with Tehran and says the US should carry out pre-emptive attacks against Iran’s nuclear facilities.

The marking of the Islamic Revolution's anniversary in the US carries special significance after Bolton said in 2017 that “the Ayatollah Khomeini’s 1979 revolution will not last until its 40th birthday.”

“The outcome of the president’s policy review should be to determine that the Ayatollah Khomeini’s 1979 revolution will not last until its 40th birthday. And that’s why, before 2019, we here will celebrate in Tehran!” he told a terrorist MKO convention in Paris. 

Atefat said Trump’s rhetoric against Iran was futile and that there would not be progress between the two sides as long as the US president used hostile language.

"I don't think there would be any progress between Iran and United States as long as this kind of language with Mr. Trump's administration is coming out," he told Reuters.

Regarding Washington's approach towards Iran, former Virginia liberal Democratic lawmaker Jim Moran who was in attendance at the annual event shared the same attitude as Atefat.

Moran who was in Congress for over 23 years said, "The Trump administration has pushed us in the wrong direction because the Iranians are not transactional people but they could be transformational in terms of the Middle East."

"If there's any real hope for sustainable peace in the Middle East, Iran is going to play a key role," he said.

Shah-era foreign minister praises Iranian officials 

Ardeshir Zahedi, a former Iranian foreign minister and ambassador to the US under the Shah, also commented on the state of Iran on the 40th anniversary of the Islamic Revolution on Friday.

He praised the current Iranian officials "because they work with a logic.”

The former ambassador said he felt Washington seeks a "regime change" in the Islamic Republic, but cast doubt on the strength of the groups outside Iran pushing for such an eventuality.

"Where do they get their money? Who is going to support them? How much of the army do they have in their hand?" he said.

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