Iran vaunts military, taunts United States as revolution turns 40

Iran vaunts military, taunts United States as revolution turns 40

Monday's celebrations in Tehran were also a backdrop to the military's display of Iranian-made missiles, which authorities showcase every year during anniversary celebrations.

On Feb. 11 that year, Iran's military stood down after days of street battles, allowing the revolutionaries to sweep across the country while the government of Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi resigned.

State TV showed crowds defying rainy weather and carrying Iranian flags while shouting anti-Israeli and anti-US slogans.

Earlier at the anniversary celebrations, Iran's president Hassan Rouhani told crowds on Monday that Iran was committed to a path that will see the country expand its "military power".

"We do not and we will not ask permission for producing any type of missiles from anybody", Rouhani said in his speech Monday, though he stressed that Iran would "continue constructive engagement" with the worldwide community.

Mr Bolton, a leading hawk in the Trump administration's attempt to weaken Iranian influence, was tweeting as a huge crowd in Tehran gathered to celebrate the 1979 revolution, in which Muslim leader Ayatollah Ruholla Khomeini ended the centuries-old rule of the royal dynasty.

Over the past decade, Iran has frequently test-fired and displayed missiles, sent several short-lived satellites into orbit and in 2013 launched a monkey into space.

The regime also declared a mass amnesty, with a fifth of prisoners set to leave the country's overcrowded prison system. Trump also reestablished US economic sanctions against Iran.

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Chants of "Death to America" and "Death to Israel" can commonly be heard in Iranian demonstrations of nationalist fervor, with this one being no exception.

"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 United States wished would never come", Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif tweeted.

The large turnout in state-sponsored rallies came as Iranians face mounting economic hardships.

"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.

State television offered blanket coverage of the commemorations, showing marchers in cities ranging from Abadan in south-western Iran to Mashad in the northeast, all joined in fervent denunciations of both the USA and Israel. Iran's 1979 Islamic Revolution initially inspired both Islamic militants and Islamists across the Mideast. He said, "The United States does not have the courage to shoot a single bullet at us".

He compared the USA sanctions and economic hardships to "riding a bicycle when someone puts a stick in the wheels" but pointed to advances in other fields as more than making up for them.

In an official White House Twitter video post, Bolton taunted Sayyid Ali Hosseini Khamenei, the current Supreme Leader of Iran.

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