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Iran vaunts military, taunts USA as revolution turns 40
12 February 2019, 04:27 | Glen Norman
Israel warns Iran this could be last anniversary
President Hassan Rohani blasted a USA "conspiracy" against Iran as the country marked the 40th anniversary of the 1979 Islamic revolution that ended the monarchy and heralded the start of four decades of clerical rule.
Iranians celebrated the 1979 overthrow of Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi, who was supported by the US, "waving Iranian flags, chanting "Death to America" and burning USA and Israeli flags", reported The Associated Press.
State TV showed crowds defying rainy weather and carrying Iranian flags while shouting anti-Israeli and anti-US slogans.
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani told Iranians they should resist a "conspiracy" involving Washington.
In the backdrop to Monday's marches, the military displayed Iranian-made missiles, which authorities showcase every year during anniversary celebrations and which now have a range of up to 2,000 kilometres (1,250 miles) and are able to Israel and US military bases in the region.
A number of Israeli and American flags were set on fire by the crowds.
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.
This year's anniversary come as tensions are rising with the US and Iran is grappling with re-imposed USA sanctions. Iranian state TV, which said millions participated in the celebrations, ran archive footage of the days of the uprising and played revolutionary songs.
He also blasted a US "conspiracy" against the country, saying, "The presence of people today on the streets all over Islamic Iran. means that the enemy will never reach its evil objectives".
Iranians are facing mounting economic hardships which many blame on the country's clerical leaders.
"The Iranian people have and will have some economic difficulties but we will overcome the problems by helping each other", he said.
Iranians march towards Azadi Square during Monday's rally.
Citing leaked Iranian Judiciary documents, the Paris-based media watchdog also said that the authorities had arrested, imprisoned, or executed at least 860 journalists in the three decades between the 1979 revolution and 2009. "And that's why, before 2019, we here will celebrate in Tehran!" he claimed.
Rouhani lambasted calls from the United States and Europe for a fresh agreement to curb Iran's missile program.
He compared the US 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.
Extensive fireworks displays were held across Tehran on Sunday night.
In a February 8 speech to a gathering of Iranian Army Air Force officers, Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said that Iran will not give up the "Death to America" chant as long as Washington continues its hostile policies toward Tehran.
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