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Iran Celebrates 1979 Revolution

February 1, 2007 -- Iran has begun 10 days of celebrations, known as "Ten Days of Dawn," to mark the 28th anniversary of the 1979 Islamic revolution.

Ayatollah Khamenei at Ayatollah Khomeini's tomb

President Mahmud Ahmadinejad has promised to announce "good news" about advances in the country's nuclear program during the festivities.

Iran says its nuclear program is peaceful, but Western critics have accused Tehran of secretly trying to develop nuclear weapons.

In December, the UN Security Council adopted limited sanctions against Iran aimed at curbing its nuclear program.

Iran's Mehr News Agency quoted influential former President and current Expediency Council Chairman Ali Akbar Hashemi-Rajsanjani as telling a crowd today that "the West" is seeking to divide the Shi'ite and Sunni communities. But he added that "the Islamic ummah...can break the domination of the West with its unity."

Ayatollah Rafsanjani

February 1979 marked the return to Iran of the exiled Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, the father of the country's Islamic revolution.

The "Ten Days of Dawn" conclude on February 11.

(with additional AFP reporting)

Copyright (c) 2007 RFE/RL, Inc. Reprinted with the permission of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, 1201 Connecticut Ave., N.W. Washington DC 20036.

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