More than 1 million mourners gathered Monday around the gold-domed tomb of Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini to mark the first anniversary of his death, some Beating their chests in a frenzy of grief.
"Death To America," blared loudspeakers around the compound. "Death To Israel."Inside the packed shrine, mourners listened as speakers recited verses from the Koran, the Islamic holy book. The gray-bearded Khomeini seemed to stare sternly at the crowd from pictures hung on the pillars.
"While There Is Islam, We Will Not Forget The Imam" read one banner. Khomeini was considered the imam or supreme spiritual leader.
Some, including a group of Pakistanis, beat their chests in a traditional Shiite Moslem sign of mourning as others sat under makeshift tents.
The event, which climaxed a four-day mourning period, gathered no more than 3 million people around the shrine on the outskirts of Tehran, according to foreign reporters who flew over the scene by helicopter.
Iran's official news media, however, said the occasion drew 8 million to 9 million people.
Two hundred thousand mourners were brought to Tehran from villages, towns and other cities in thousands of buses, the commander of the highway police told Iranian news media.