While the mullahs claimed that "millions" of Tehran residents had turned out, reports by eyewitnesses indicated that the ceremonies were deserted. Many of the participants consisted of the members of the State Security Force, the Guards Corps, the Bassij and other military forces. Elementary and high school students were also forced to take part. The regime had issued frequent directives, making the participation of government employees and affiliated organs mandatory.
In addition, the clerical regime had brought to Tehran a significant number of people from cities such as Isfahan, Qom, Karaj, etc., in buses.
The absolute desertion of the rally in the capital with a population of 12 million demonstrates palpably the insolation and lack of legitimacy of this medieval regime among the Iranian people. So deserted was the rally that when reporting about the event, the state television began broadcasting scenes from ralliesheld in previous years.
Addressing the crowd, Khatami again declared his full-fledged support for the velayat-e faqih and Khamenei. He underscored that for him the rule of law is applicable only in the framework of the "velayat-e faqih and the Islamic nature of the rules and regulations." These are precisely the very rules and regulations according to which 120,000 have been executed in the past 20 years, one million people were sent to their deaths in the unpatriotic war with Iraq and the economy has been brought to the point of bankruptcy.
pointing to the prowess and influence of the Resistance, Khatami impudently defended the conduct of the regime in the past two decades, including the unpatriotic war. In this way, he demonstrated once again that as far as violating and trampling upon the rights of the Iranian people are concerned, he is in no way different from other criminal rulers and that he has been one of the primary officials responsible for the regime's atrocities in the past 20 years.
Secretariat of the National Council of Resistance of Iran
February 11, 1999