TEHRAN Hundreds of thousands of Iranians Tuesday converge on the mausoleum of Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini in southern Tehran to pay homage to the founder of the Islamic Republic and renew allegiance to the ideals of the 1979 Islamic Revolution.
Grand Ayatollah Seyyed Ruhollah Mousavi Khomeini, better known as Imam Khomeini, passed away on June 3, 1989 at the age of 87.
Supreme leader and successor of late Imam, Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei addressed the gathering at sprawling golden domed mausoleum located near the Behesht-e-Zehra martyrs cemetery.
Military had deployed its HAWK anti-aircraft defense system to protect the area from potential attack as tensions with United States and Israel remain high.
A senior commander of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) overseeing Tehran’s security said the HAWK system will protect the event from airborne threats, including drones.
“The security agencies will monitor a security belt to the radius of 10 kilometers around the Imam Khomeini shrine,” Mohammad Reza Yazdi, commander of Mohammad Rasulullah IRGC Corp, told a press conference Saturday.
Imam Khomeini contributed many years of his life to standing up to the US-backed Pahlavi dynasty, and eventually paved the way for its downfall in the 1979 Islamic Revolution.
In the pre-Revolution era, Imam Khomeini spent more than 15 years in exile for his opposition to the last monarch, Reza Pahlavi, mostly for his association with Western imperialists.
He was not allowed to return to Iran during Pahlavi’s reign, and only came back home on February 1, 1979 after the monarch finally gave into a mass uprising and fled the country. The tyrannical Pahlavi regime fully collapsed 10 days later on