Iranians from all over Iran flocked by the thousands to Pasargard in Shiraz to commemorate Cyrus the Great.
October29 is celebrated in Iran as the Day of Cyrus the Great. Like last year, the Iraniangovernment shut down the site, even banning tourists from entering the area, toprevent the commemoration gathering in fear that it would turn into ananti-government protest.
Reports indicate that in addition to the police and undercover agents, the RevolutionaryGuards Corps were also dispatched and were alert in Fars Province and nearby cities.
From Sunday afternoon, roads leading to Pasargad, where Cyrus’s tomb is located, were blockaded, and security forces stationed in the area did not allow cars from other provinces into the area. Some people went on foot toward Pasargad via detours and mountain paths.
Police in Pasargad had given the locals passes for their vehicles, telling them that would not be allowed to travel in the area without the pass.
According to reports, security forces arrested a number of people who were going to Pasargard and a number of vehicle were also impounded.
In an effort to prevent the gathering, the Revolutionary Guards had announced from two weeks before that they would be conducting drills in Zarqan (Fars Province) between October 27-30, and they informed hospitals in the region, including in Pasargad, to be prepared to receive people with injuries.
There were also reports of protest gatherings tonight in Valiasr Square in Tehran to mark Cyrus Day. Videos on social media showed protesters chanting against the government’s policies of sending millions to fuel the war in Syria and other neighboring countries.
The Spokesperson of the US Department of State tweeted for Cyrus Day underlining Cyrus’s religious tolerance. She urged the Iranian regime “to learn a few lessons from his leadership” and to stop the persecution of religious minorities.
In October 539 BCE, the Persian king Cyrus took Babylon, the ancient capital of an empire covering modern Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, and Israel. In a broader sense, Babylon was the ancient world’s capital of scholarship and science. The subject provinces soon recognized Cyrus as their legitimate ruler.