Massive crowds mark 40th anniversary of Iran revolution

Iran's revolution Political quake still shaking Middle East

Iranians mark anniversary of victory day in 1979 revolution

Iranians burn Israeli flags during commemorations in the capital Tehran of the 40th anniversary of the Islamic Revolution on February 11, 2019.

Hundreds of thousands of soldiers, militia members in camouflage fatigues, clerics, and ordinary citizens flocked to the streets of other Iranian cities and towns to commemorate February 11, 1979, when followers of Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini ousted a US -backed monarch, Shah Reza Pahlavi.

State TV showed crowds defying cold rainy weather and carrying Iranian flags while shouting "Death to Israel, Death to America", trademark chants of the revolution which ousted the United States' most important ally in the Middle East.

Speaking from a podium in central Tehran, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani addressed the crowds for almost 45 minutes, lashing out at Iran's enemies - America and Israel - and claiming their efforts to "bring down" Iranians through sanctions will not succeed.

"We have not asked and will never ask anyone for permission to increase our defence capabilities and to build all kinds of missiles, be they surface-to-air missiles, anti-ship missiles or ground-to-ground missiles", the Iranian leader said.

The country's military also displayed missiles along rally routes.

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.

A number of Israeli and American flags were set on fire by the crowds.

Messy mix of snow, sleet to make for unsafe Tuesday commute
Light snow started to make its way into the interior lowlands in the late afternoon Sunday, the National Weather Service said . Environment Canada is warning that a winter storm is headed for Ontario, set to hit on Tuesday and overnight into Wednesday .

Every year, the anniversary festivities start on February 1 - the day Khomeini returned home from France after 14 years in exile to become the supreme leader as Shiite clerics took power - and continue for 10 days, climaxing on February 11. Iranian leaders say they are protecting national interests.

"After 40 years, the Islamic Republic of Iran has failed to fulfill its promises to uphold and safeguard the rights of its citizens", Bolton tweeted Monday morning.

Trump said he envisioned keeping US troops in Iraq "because I want to be able to watch Iran" during an interview with Margaret Brennan of CBS News that aired February 3.

"The Iranian people have and will have some economic difficulties but we will overcome the problems by helping each other", he said.

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".

A pre-prepared resolution was read out ahead of his speech that proclaimed "unquestioning obedience to the supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei" and called US President Donald Trump an "idiot".

"We are here to support the revolution", the 57-year-old pensioner, who refused to give his first name, told AFP at the event in Tehran.

The large turnout in state-sponsored rallies came as Iranians face rising prices, food shortages and high inflation that have triggered waves of protests.

Latest News