SYNOPSIS: Government officials and guests arrived by helicopter at the ruins of Persepolis on Tuesday for the inauguration of the celebrations of Persia's 2,500 years as an empire.
SYNOPSIS: Government officials and guests arrived by helicopter at the ruins of Persepolis on Tuesday for the inauguration of the celebrations of Persia's 2,500 years as an empire. The Shah and Empress of Iran, with their son, Crown Prince Reza, dressed in uniforms for the occasion, officiated over proceedings from a dais as a massive security curtain surrounded the area.
Flanked by officers of his Imperial Guard, the Shah laid a wreath at the tomb of Cyrus the Great, the founder of the Persian Empire. The simplicity of the ceremony was in sharp contrast to the splendour of the 40-million-pound celebrations which are scheduled to follow.
The Shahanshah of Iran, Mohammad Reza Pahlavi Aryemehr, on Tuesday (12 October) inaugurated the celebrations to mark the 2,500th Anniversary of the Persian monarchy with a brief military ceremony held at Persepolis in Southern Iran - the site of a former capital of ancient Persia.
Protected by a massive security curtain around the whole area, the Shah laid a wreath before the tomb of Cyrus the Great, founder of the Persian monarchy and its empire.
A 101 gun salute was followed by a formal moment of silence as the Shah stood with the Empress Farah and his eldest son, Crown Prince Reza. Behind them stood members of the Government and senior officials in their gold braided court uniforms.
World Heads of States were expected to arrive in the specially-constructed tent village on Wednesday (13 October). The Shah's purpose in holding the celebrations has been to focus world attention on Iran - officials have claimed that the cost of the celebrations, estimated at 40 million sterling will be recouped by tourism within the next five years.
Standing by the side of this wife, the Empress Farah Diba, and his 11-year-old son and heir, Prince Reza, the Shah, resplendent in the gold and blue uniform of the Imperial Guard, delivered a eulogy to Cyrus the Great, describing him as the "greatest emancipator in history". Heads of States were scheduled to arrive in the tent city the following day.