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

12 February 2019, 02:11 | Devin Moran

Iranians mark anniversary of victory day in 1979 revolution

REUTERS  Raheb Homavandi  File

In this February 11, 2016 file photograph, an Iranian woman holds the national flag during a rally commemorating the 37th anniversary of the Islamic revolution, in Tehran, Iran.

State television showed crowds defying cold rainy weather and carrying Iranian flags while shouting "Death to Israel, Death to America" - trademark chants of the revolution.

Iran's army declared its neutrality on February 11, 1979 which paved the way for the collapse of Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi - and ousted the United States' most important ally in the Middle East.

In a speech given at Azadi Square, President Hassan Rouhani said Iran was determined to expand its military power and ballistic missile program despite mounting pressure to curb its defensive work.

Iran's president also insisted that Iranians "have not asked and will not ask for permission" to develop different types of missiles, Rohani said.

The celebrations included several instance of muscle flexing, including the launch and test of new missiles, which would put Israel squarely within precise range of the Iranian armed forces.

Iran's 1979 Islamic Revolution initially inspired both Islamic militants and Islamists across the Mideast.

Prices of basic foodstuffs have soared since President Donald Trump withdrew Washington from world powers' 2015 nuclear deal with Iran previous year and reimposed sanctions on Tehran.




"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.

Rouhani was referring to the Kingdom of Bahrain, which Iranian officials in the past have referred to as the "14th province".

"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.

The Israeli prime minister's comments came in direct response to IRGC political affairs spokesman Yadollah Javani, who warned earlier on Monday that Iran would attack Israel if threatened by Washington.

Top political and military leaders in Iran regularly call for Israel's annihilation, with a senior general recently claiming it would defeat the Jewish state "within three days" in the case of a war.

Trump´s chief foreign policy adviser said on Monday the Islamic revolution inflicted four decades of "failure and broken promises" on the country.

Iranians march towards Azadi Square during Monday's rally.

Referring to Iran as "the Mother Land", Rouhani said that during the rule of "the traitor Qajar dynasty 205 years ago", large portions of lands were separated from Northern Iran and the caucuses.



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