Saturday, 16 February, 2019

Chanting 'Death to America,' Iranians mark 40 years since Shah's fall

Hezbollah supporters hold images of the late founder of the Islamic Republic Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini and Iran's supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenai during celebrations marking the 40th anniversary of the Iranian revolution in Beirut on Fe Iranians mark anniversary of victory day in 1979 revolution
Kenny Thornton | 12 February, 2019, 02:11

The crowd of demonstrators in the rallies paid tribute to the late founder of the Islamic Republic, Imam Khomeini, under whose leadership the revolutionary movements triumphed over the despotic regime of Pahlavi on February 11, 1979.

In Tehran, crowds streamed in the rain from a dozen of the capital's far-flung neighborhoods to mass in central Tehran Azadi, or Freedom Square, on Monday, waving Iranian flags and chanting "Death to America" - a chant that has been standard fare at anti-U.S. rallies across Iran.

Iran's president also insisted that Iranians "have not asked and will not ask for permission" to develop different types of missiles, Rohani said. "Now it´s up to the Iranian regime to change its behavior, & ultimately up to the Iranian people to determine the direction of their country", John Bolton tweeted.

"Our presence in the 40th anniversary of the revolution is to show our support for the Islamic Republic", said one sign held by a protester.

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.

The large turnout in state-sponsored rallies came as Iranians face mounting economic hardships following the return of U.S. sanctions previous year.

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

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"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.

US President Donald Trump pulled out of Iran's 2015 nuclear deal with world powers past year and re-imposed sanctions on Tehran - dealing a blow to the country's economy.

"We will not let America become victorious - Iranian people have and will have some economic difficulties, but we will overcome the problems by helping each other", he said in a speech.

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".

Regional power Saudi Arabia and other Arab countries have viewed Iran with great suspicion since the Islamic Revolution swept the Shah from power, fearing Khomeini would inspire Islamic militants across the region.

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".

An anchor on state television warned of hostile foreign media trying to downplay the participation of Iranians in the march but expressed confidence that "they would be confounded by the unprecedented level of attendance".

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