On February 11, 2014, Iran celebrated Revolution Day, the 35th anniversary of the regime of the Islamic Revolution, against the backdrop of the start of permanent agreement nuclear talks between Iran and the superpowers, and of the ongoing struggle within Iran between the ideological stream led by Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei, and the pragmatic stream led by Hashemi Rafsanjani, on the issue of how Iran should deal with the U.S. Revolution Day 2014 was marked by regime officials' harsh anti-U.S. statements and by calls for maintaining Iranian hostility towards the U.S.
In two separate speeches, Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei stressed that the main enemy of the revolution was the U.S. and extolled fighting it as the revolution's central value. He added that the 1979 takeover of the U.S. Embassy in Tehran was "an even greater revolution than the first one," that is, greater than the removal of the Shah and the seizure of power by Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini. Khamenei also called on Iranians not to be taken in by the U.S.'s overtures, and not to trust it, because its aim – that is, to topple the revolutionary regime – remains unchanged.
As part of the Iranian regime's dismissal of the U.S. military threat, many of this year's Revolution Day marches and demonstrations featured signs bearing the slogan in English, "We Are Eager For The Options On The Table," – a slogan praised by both Khamenei's and Rafsanjani's circles. Moreover, Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) naval commander Ali Fadavi stated that the U.S. would understand Iran's might when Iran began to sink U.S. warships, with their crews of over 5,000. At the same time, Iranian Navy Adm. Rezai Haddad announced that an Iranian flotilla was en route to the Atlantic for "a first approach of U.S. maritime borders" and that this was meant to be a "message" for the U.S 
In his Revolution Day message, both Iranian Defense Minister Hossein Dehghan and Iranian Army chief of staff Hassan Firouzabadi stressed that Iran longs for the decisive battle with the U.S., in light of the latter's threat to use the military option if the nuclear talks fail. In other speeches, government officials stressed that hostility towards the U.S. – "the Great Satan" – would continue even if the nuclear issue were resolved, and that Iran's smiles at the negotiating table were merely a tactical move aimed at obtaining Iran's nuclear rights.
Following are excerpts from Iranian government officials' statements for Revolution Day 2014. (For photos from the demonstrations and marches, see Appendix.)
Iranian Military Officials: "The Americans Will Know [Iran's True Power] When Their Warships, With Over 5,000 Aboard, Sink During A Confrontation With Iran"; We Are Prepared With Ballistic Missiles, Swift Boats, And Mines; "The Iranian Nation Will Hand Them [The Americans] A Crushing Defeat"
In a February 11, 2014 interview with the Fars news agency, Defense Minister Hossein Dehghan said: "The Defense Ministry is working to ensure that the Iranian people are armed and ready to confront any enemy threat. Yesterday's successful test of Iranian-made ballistic missiles was also a crushing response to the nonsense of the American officials who frequently threaten Iran. It is a clear answer to their military option. The Defense Ministry and the Iranian nation are always ready [for battle], and Iran will welcome it if the Americans again put themselves to the test and face the consequences. The Americans will again be defeated, just as they were in the [1980-1988] Iran-Iraq war. If they implement their nonsense [i.e. their threats], the Iranian nation will hand them a crushing defeat."
The next day, February 12, Iranian Chief of Staff Hassan Firouzabadi told Fars: "Iran is prepared for the decisive war against the U.S. and the Zionist regime." He added, "Iran has been making plans, conducting maneuvers, and preparing its forces for this battle for years now."
Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) naval commander Ali Fadavi threatened that in battles at sea, his forces would sink American warships: "The Americans can spot swift boats, sea mines, and anti-ship missiles but they cannot grasp axioms such as... 'God, the Islamic Revolution, and the Supreme Leader [Khamenei].' On the chest of the IRGC is the [Koran] verse that clearly says that the use of measures against the infidels and the enemies must be promoted. The Americans notice only some of our capabilities; only on the battlefield will they fully internalize the bulk of our capabilities. The Americans will know [Iran's true power] when their warships, with over 5,000 aboard, sink during a confrontation with Iran, and when they have to search the depths of the sea for their bodies."
Khamenei: "When Our Youth Took Over The U.S. Spy Nest And Dealt It A Humiliating Blow... It Was A Greater Revolution" Than The Removal Of The Shah
In a February 8 speech, Supreme Leader Khamenei said: "When our youth took over the U.S. spy nest [the U.S. Embassy in Tehran] and dealt it a humiliating blow, the Imam [Khomeini] called it a greater revolution than the first [i.e. his removal of the Shah and seizure of power]...
"In this second revolution, the Iranian nation showed that it recognizes the additional layers of arrogance and [the source] of the problems, and that it is fighting them... Also ensuring our independence is clear and explicit reliance on the founding principles of the Islamic Revolution. Just as the Imam did, we [too] must clearly and explicitly express the principles, foundations, and values of the revolution...
"The Imam vehemently rejected the hegemonic order – that same world order that is based on a world divided into ruler and subject. This hegemonic order is today fully represented by the current regime and administration in the U.S. This is why the Imam [in his day] took a decisive anti-U.S. stance. Our anti-U.S. position does not stem from the fact that it is one nation that we oppose, or from racial characteristics. This is not the issue. The issue is the nature and conduct of the U.S. government, which interferes and aspires to take control. The Imam took a clear stance against [the U.S.].
"So you see that even 35 years later, our revolution adheres to its principles and walks the true path. It has not changed its language, its path, or its goals. This is very important. Revolutions lose their resistance following turmoil; many [revolutions] change their statements or their path, or collapse and fall. [But] from its inception to this very day, the Islamic Revolution has preserved its defined goals and moves towards these goals...
"For some time now, the propaganda and political apparatuses of Iran's enemies have invested substantial efforts in fomenting Iranophobia... but [Iran's] popularity among the nations of the world has [only] increased... What the nations fear is not the regime of the Islamic Republic and the Iranian nation, but a U.S. takeover. It is the U.S. that is known for bullying, interfering in the affairs of nations, and starting wars. The U.S. is recognized by the nations as a warmonger that fans flames and interferes in the affairs of other countries. Nations fear and despite the U.S.
"[On the other hand,] the image of the regime of the Islamic Republic is improving daily, thanks to God. It is also gaining more respect every day. This trend will continue...
"What American officials [i.e. President Obama and Secretary of State Kerry] are telling Iranian officials... in various statements is: 'We have no intention of changing the regime in Iran.' First of all, they are lying. If they were capable, they would not waste a moment in destroying the regime. Second, they cannot do it..."
Khamenei visits Ayatollah Khomeini's grave (source: Facebook.com, February 1, 2014.)
Khamenei: "The Message Of The Revolution Is That We Shall Not Surrender To Bullying And Extortion... The U.S. Is The Manifestation Of Today's Hegemonic Order"
In a February 17, 2014 speech. Khamenei said: "The message of the revolution is that we shall not surrender to bullying and extortion. We shall not surrender to hegemonic order. Hegemonic order means that a few powers control all the weapons and money, and they want to rule the world. The United States is the manifestation of today’s hegemonic order. The Iranian nation has said during the revolution, in the ensuing events, in the Iran-Iraq War, and on the recent Revolution Day, that we shall not surrender to American bullying and extortion."
The crowd responded, "Allah Akbar. Allah Akbar. Allah Akbar. Khamenei is the leader. Death to those who oppose the Rule of the Jurisprudent! Death to America! Death to England! Death to the hypocrites! Death to Israel!"
Khamenei continued: "Look, time after time, the Americans make stupid statements... Even their leaders have insulted Iran, but of course, our people punched them in the mouth on the recent Revolution Day... The nuclear issue is merely a pretext for enmity. Even if the nuclear issue is resolved one day in line with US expectations – although this is impossible – they will seek something else instead. Note how the American spokespeople have talked about human rights, missiles, weapons, and so on. I am surprised at how the Americans are not ashamed to talk about human rights... Iran will not violate its agreements and commitments, but the Americans are the enemies of the Islamic Revolution and of Iran. They are the enemies of the flag that you hold high, and these [negotiations] will not bring an end to this enmity." (To view this clip on MEMRI TV, click here).
Iranian Officials Praise Slogan "We Are Eager For The Options On The Table"
Iranian officials from both the Khamenei and Rafsanjani camps praised the slogan "We Are Eager For The Options On The Table," which was on signs carried in Revolution Day marches and demonstrations. Guardian Council head Ayatollah Ahmad Jannati, who is close to Khamenei, told ISNA on February 11: "The cries of 'we are eager for the options on the table' are full of meaning. The Iranian nation is eager to see what it is that the Americans speak so loudly of having on the table."
Supreme National Security Council secretary Ali Shamkhani, who is close to President Hassan Rohani as well as to Rafsanjani, told the Mehr news agency on February 11: "The new slogan 'We Are Eager For The Options On The Table' attests to [Iran's] ideological maturity and to the [might of] the Iranian nation's resistance."
Revolution Day Signs: "Death To America"; "We Ready For The Grand Battle"
In addition to the signs with the slogan "We Are Eager For The Options On The Table," demonstrators also held signs saying "We Are Ready For The Grand Battle," "Death To America" "We Obey You, Khamenei," and "We Will Fight, We Will Die, [But] We Will Not Agree To Reconciliation."
(Source: Farsnews.com, February 11, 2014)
An Iranian tweeted this image of the "We Are Eager For The Options On The Table" sign in a February 11 demonstration, and added that the IRGC had distributed these signs to demonstrators.
(Source: Twitter.com/mFat, February 11, 2014)
Iranian Officials: "The U.S. Is The Great Satan, Yesterday And Today"; "The First Option On Our Table Is 'Death To America'; The Entire People's Slogan Is 'Death To America'"
In their Revolution Day speeches, Iranian officials stressed that although Iran sincerely wished to resolve the nuclear crisis, it would maintain its hostility and its struggle against the "Great Satan" – the U.S.
During February 21, 2014 Friday worship, Guardian Council head Ayatollah Ahmad Jannati stated: "The Imam Khomeini said that the U.S. is the Great Satan, and [therefore] we expect the [government] officials to recognize the enemy. The U.S. is the Great Satan, yesterday and today... While the enemy carries out ugly actions and says evil things, the Iranian nation has shown fervor and, with its enthusiastic turnout [for the February 11 Revolution Day marches], made it known that will not tolerate humiliation...
"The first option on our table is 'Death to America.' The entire people's slogan is 'Death to America'... Another option on our table is the defense of Palestine; other messages from the Iranian people to their officials are not to fear the enemy and not to fear death...
"They [the Americans] already want us to capitulate on the nuclear issue – but on what basis are they interfering in Iran's affairs? If we let them, the Americans will destroy Islam and the [Islamic] Revolution, because they have no honor and no humanity... See how they left the helpless people of Iraq. They carry out massacres in Palestine, and support takfiris who slaughter people."
In a speech in Qom on February 11, Majlis speaker Ali Larijani said: "The Imam [Khomeini] taught us that we must stand against the arrogance, and especially against 'the Great Satan.' The resistance and the steadfastness shown [by the Iranian people] after the [Islamic] Revolution ignited a Muslim awakening in the region." He added: "The options on the U.S.'s table are like the mistakes of an old lion who hasn't the courage to attack."
At a February 10 press conference in Tehran, Deputy Foreign Minister Abbas Araghchi, who heads Iran's nuclear negotiating team, said: "The purpose of the Geneva agreement is not normalization of relations between Iran and the West or between Iran and the U.S. The animosity will remain. The Geneva agreement merely attempts to manage one of the issues in dispute between Iran and the West and the U.S. – but our animosity towards and our problems with the U.S. will remain. To us, the U.S. is still the same Great Satan, and nothing has changed."
In a February 11 speech in the city of Sari in northern Iran, Mohammad Baqer Nobakht, vice president for planning and strategic oversight and government spokesman, said: "If we sat smiling at the negotiating table, it was only to prevent the crude face that they [i.e. the West] attempt to attribute to the Iranian diplomats. While we showed Iran's friendly face, our smile is no reason for us to forget their enmity..."
The Iranian Regime Encourages Calls Of "Death To America"
In the February 7 main Tehran Friday sermon, prayer leader Ayatollah Movahedi-Kermani stressed that Iran had the right to chant "Death to America" because of the continuing American pressure on it; his sermon was interrupted several times by the crowd's chants of "Death to America." He said: "They say that they will use the sanctions to continue to exert pressure on Iran's economy in the next six months, and that they will not allow the Iranian economy to flourish. In light of all the irrelevant and baseless allegations, Iran should shout to the skies: 'Death to America,' should it not?" (to view this clip on MEMRI TV, click here).
In addition, on February 7, the regime distributed a book titled The Philosophy Of 'Death To America' In The Koran. The first part of the book contains the following five chapters:
- "What is the reason for declaring death to the enemies and to America?"
- "Curses and wishes of death upon the enemies by the prophets in the Koran"
- "Ahl Al-Bait's hatred and curses against the oppressors"
- "Death to America in the words of Imam Khomeini and Leader Khamenei"
- "Why death should be wished upon the enemies America, Israel, and Britain."
The second part of the book contains the following five chapters:
- "The arrogance and the Great Satan in the Koran"
- "Death to idle thoughts and false beliefs"
- "An eternal curse upon deviant elites"
- "Wishing death to America around the world"
- "The slogan 'Death to America' in the words of Leader Khamenei."
Cover of The Philosophy Of 'Death To America' In The Koran. (Source: Fars, Iran, February 7, 2014)
Appendix: Photos From Revolution Day 2014 Marches
Coffin wrapped in black for President Obama; coffins draped in Israeli, U.S., and British flags
Iranian President Rohani and Foreign Minister Zarif at Revolution Day march
Antisemitic poster for a Revolution Day featuring a swastika inside a Star of David behind an American flag, advertising a lecture by Center for Doctrinal Affairs of National Security Without Borders director Hassan Abbasi, at the former U.S. Embassy. Poster features the slogan "Death to America" (source: Media2.afsaran.ir).
 ISNA (Iran), February 9, 2014.
 Yjc.ir, February 9, 2014.
 Fars (Iran), February 11, 2014.
 Fars (Iran), February 12, 2014.
 Fars (Iran), February 9, 2014.
 Farsi.khamenei.ir, February 8, 2014.
 ISNA (Iran), February 11, 2014.
 Mehr (Iran), February 11, 2014.
 Fars (Iran), February 11, 2014.
 Jaam-e-jam Online (Iran), February 21, 2014. For more on the "takfiris who slaughter people," see MEMRI Inquiry and Analysis No. 1068Iran Calls For Violent Shi'ite Reaction Against Saudi Arabia, February 13, 2014.
 Fars (Iran), February 11, 2014.
 Tasnim (Iran), February 11, 2014.
 ISNA (Iran), February 10, 2014.
 Fars (Iran), February 11, 2014.
 Fars (Iran), February 7, 2014.
 Tasnim, Mehr, ISNA, Fars (Iran), February 11, 2014.