Massive crowds mark 40th anniversary of Iran revolution

Rouhani: Iran to continue expanding military might, missile program

The leaders spoke at a rally marking 40 years since the Islamic revolution, a political natural disaster that ended millennia of monarchy and still reverberates around the region.

Prices of bread, cooking oil and other staples have soared since President Donald Trump withdrew Washington from the 2015 nuclear deal previous year and reimposed sanctions.

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani told Iranians who had gathered in Tehran's Azadi (Freedom) Square they should resist a "conspiracy" involving Washington. Iranian state TV, which said millions participated in the celebrations, ran archive footage of the days of the uprising and played revolutionary songs.

The two countries have not had diplomatic relations since 1980, and Trump has pulled the United States from an global agreement meant to reward Iran for giving up nuclear weapon ambitions. 40 years of repression. As The Times of Israel notes, "t$3 op political and military leaders in Iran regularly call for Israel's annihilation", so Javani's paean to his regime's genocidal ambitions is not at all unprecedented.

Iranians walk past a missile during a rally marking the 40th anniversary of the 1979 Islamic Revolution, in Tehran, Iran, Monday, Feb. 11, 2019.

"I bow in admiration to Iran's resilient people who - despite hardships and grievances - today poured into streets by the millions to mark 40th anniv of their Islamic Revolution, which some in the U.S. wished would never come", Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif tweeted.

Iranians march towards Azadi Square during Monday's rally.

The Shah was the United States' closest ally in the Middle East.

"The Iranian people have and will have some economic difficulties [due to the sanctions] but we will overcome the problems by helping each other", Rouhani said in his address.

"The US should know that we would raze Tel Aviv and Haifa to the ground in the event of a military attack on us", General Yadollah Javani, head of the guard's political bureau, was quoted as saying. "The enemies are now confessing to their defeat", said Rouhani.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu speaks during an event in Tel Aviv, Israel, August 9, 2017. Brig. Gen. Ramezan Sharif, another IRGC spokesman, stressed that Iran has reached defensive capabilities allowing it to "firmly punish any aggression". "They should take that into account", Netanyahu said, as reported by Haaretz.

"Were this regime to make the awful mistake of trying to destroy Tel Aviv and Haifa, it would not succeed, but it would mean that they had celebrated their last Revolution Day".

The cry of "Death to America" has long featured in the Islamic republic, with leaders and the public alike using it to vent their perception of America's supposed interest in working against the country.

Today, Iran enjoys growing influence through proxies in Iraq, Syria, Lebanon and Yemen, raising concerns in Sunni Saudi Arabia, which accuses its rival of trying to dominate the Middle East. Tehran denies that.

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