On this day, 40 years ago, Mohammad Pahlavi’s monarchy fell after his troops were defeated by revolutionary guerrillas. On the subsequent April 1st, Iranians approved, by referendum, the formation of an Islamic republic and Ruhollah Khomeini became the supreme leader of the country. The Iranian government celebrates the triumph of the revolution, the hostage taking at the US embassy and the rise of Khomeini to power, every year. These events didn’t just shape the Persian country’s fate, but the entire balance of power in the Middle East. On the surface, this year’s celebrations are proceeding normally, with the burning of American and Israeli flags, and portraits of US President Donald Trump, as economic sanctions have led to significant price increases, affecting both the government and people on the street. New this year however, are the street protests against the regime, protesting the rising cost of goods, and demanding more basic freedoms. They are often quashed by police. Ariane Tabatathai, Middle East & Iran expert from the Rand Corporation argues that the current Iranian government does seek to implement social change, but “spent the first term tied up negotiating the nuclear treaty, and is now stuck fighting fires daily in the fallout from US sanctions”.