IRDC.IR: There's no doubt that welcoming Imam Khomeini on February 1st,1979, was the world's greatest welcoming. Although people had attended in the welcoming ceremony of other clergymen too, but Imam Khomeini's arrival was so important that people had been planning everything for long time.
According to the Etelaat newspaper report of Thursday, February 1 1979, various groups had come to Mehrabad to welcome Imam Khomeini. "Clergymen and their students, Sunni brothers, religious minorities, political parties and societies, university professors, judges and lawyers, human rights societies, employees of private sector and deputies from provinces, common syndicate of oil industries, farmers, workers, teachers and... .
The day Imam arrived at Iran, an unexplainable joy was spread through the whole country. In Tehran, the houses in the path of great welcoming, served food, drinks and sweets among people. Esfand could be smelled everywhere. From early morning, millions of people were standing on both sides of the 33 kilometers path, which Imam was going to be transferred through. Behehsht-Zahra was Imam's first stop. But they got him there with difficulty because of the millions of people attending his welcoming ceremony.
Mohsen Rafiq Doost mentions the broad attendance of people on welcoming day in his diaries: "All the way from airport to Behesht-e-Zahra, Imam was sitting in the car silently, smiling kindly, responding to the passionate people by the smile and waving to them.
It was more crowded near university of Tehran. In front of the university, car was being moved by the pressure of the crowd.
He continues: "On our way, I saw nowhere being less crowded. I guess only 6-8 millions were standing on the 34 kilometers path. When we arrived at Behesht-e-Zahra, sometimes I felt I was no longer controlling the car.
A helicopter wanted to get close to the blazer but the engine was off and the crowd were pulling the car away from the helicopter..."
Ali Akbar Nateq Noori, notes in his diaries:"Passing by Amirieh and Valiasr street, we saw that people had cleaned the streets and filled them with flowers. Some people were stuck to Imam's car, shouting, all the way from the airport to Behesht-e-Zahra.
The car was covered by the crowd. The welcoming committee was unable to take any action. It was like there's no car, just people shoving each other.
The crowd entered into Behehst-e-Zahra, joining the ones that had come there from the night before. According to the report of Etelaat newspaper:"Large groups of people are gathered in Behehst-e-Zahra from early morning, and even last night, as many people are still coming here. The number of people here reaches to hundreds of thousands. And the number is increasing every minute. They are heading to Behesht-e-Zahra on foot, singing songs."
The welcoming was continued over the next few days. According to 3 January 1979 report of Etelaat newspaper:"Today, for 3rd day in a row, people willing to meet Imam Khomeini are gathered near his residence from early morning. The crowed reaches to over one kilometer away from Imam's residence."
Also according to the documents, reports and narrations, people from other cities who hadn't made it to the welcoming ceremony, celebrating his arrival in their own cities. Thus, the greatest welcoming ceremony in history happened in February 1979.
Translated by: Roya Jalali