In Revolution anniversary speech, Rouhani lays claim to Bahrain, other neighbors

In Revolution anniversary speech, Rouhani lays claim to Bahrain, other neighbors

The revolution of February 11, 1979 marked the end of decades of rule by US-backed Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi, whose authoritarian leadership, lavish lifestyle and Western-style reforms had united swathes of Iranians against him.

Iranians celebrated the 1979 overthrow of Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi, who was supported by the US, "waving Iranian flags, chanting "Death to America" and burning USA and Israeli flags", reported The Associated Press.

Banners held by marchers or hung in the streets bore slogans including "Death to America", "Death to Israel", and "40 years of challenge, 40 years of USA defeats".

Soldiers, students, clerics and black-clad women holding small children thronged streets across Iran, many carrying portraits of Khomeini, who died in 1989, and Iran's current Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.

Life-size replicas of Iranian-made cruise and ballistic missiles stood in a statement of defiance after the USA past year reimposed sanctions following its withdrawal from a deal on Tehran's nuclear programme.

The march culminated at Azadi Square, where President Rouhani addressed the crowd.

Iranians march towards Azadi (Freedom) Square during a ceremony celebrating the 40th anniversary of Islamic Revolution in the capital Tehran on February 11, 2019.

"We will not let America become victorious..."

In January, Mr Rouhani said Iran was facing its worst economic crisis since the Shah was toppled.

Marchers carried cardboard cutouts of dogs.

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Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu termed the navy's strength "impressive", a day after he said he was unimpressed by Iran's threats against Israel.

Following reports of a second failed space launch by Iran in less than a month, the U.S. State Department last week called for "tougher worldwide restrictions to deter Iran's missile program".

The United States and its Arab allies have viewed Iran with great suspicion since the Islamic Revolution swept the Shah from power in 1979, fearing Khomeini's radical ideology would inspire Islamic militants across the Middle East. Tyrannizing its own people and terrorizing the world.

"The presence of people in this celebration means that plots by the enemies. have been defused", Rouhani said.

Some Iranians criticise their leaders for what they say are foreign adventures which squander funds. Rather, they are directed at national leaders.

At a parade to mark the anniversary, Iran showed off its weaponry, including a ground-to-ground missile that can travel a distance of 700 kilometers.

Dismissing calls that Iranian regional influence should be curbed, the deputy commander of Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) was quoted as saying on February 11 that "the enemy can not ask us to leave the region".

As one of our loyal readers, we ask you to be our partner. Iranian state TV, which said millions participated in the celebrations, ran archive footage of the days of the uprising and played revolutionary songs.

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