Hundreds of thousands in Iran mark 40th anniversary of Islamic Revolution

According to a 2013 study by the UN and the University of Tehran a third of Iran's population is aged between 15 and 29

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani on Monday laid historical claims to a number of Arabian Gulf countries without naming them.

TEHRAN, Iran (AP) - Iranians are pouring out onto the streets of Tehran and other cities and towns across the country, marking the date 40 years ago that's considered victory day in the country's 1979 Islamic Revolution.

Rouhani was referring to the Kingdom of Bahrain, which Iranian officials in the past have referred to as the "14th province". 40 years of repression. During the speech, Rouhani also laid claims to several areas including parts of land that are now in Azerbaijan, Armenia, and Georgia.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu dismissed the threat. 40 Years of Failure to adjust U.S. policy to reality.

"Were this regime to make the awful mistake of trying to destroy Tel Aviv and Haifa, it would not succeed, but it would mean that they had celebrated their last Revolution Day".

Israel and Iran traded threats of mutual destruction on Monday as the Islamic Republic celebrated the 40th anniversary of its revolution.

The Iranian people "will not stop saying "Death to America" as long as the USA acts malicious" toward Iran, Khamenei said, referring to Trump's State of the Union address in which the American president, among other things, said: "We will not avert our eyes from a regime that chants death to America".

The events commemorate the collapse of the US -backed government of Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi after the Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini's 1979 return from exile.

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The state has played up this year's anniversary as 40 is symbolic of maturity in the Islamic tradition and the age at which Prophet Mohammed received revelations from God.

Banners held by marchers or hung along the streets bore slogans including "Death to America", "Death to Israel", "we will trample on America", "40 years of challenge, 40 years of USA defeats".

Stalls set up by state institutions handed out tea and cakes and choirs sang revolutionary songs, as crowds massed despite driving rain.

Iranians are facing mounting economic hardships which many blame on the country's clerical leaders.

An anchor on state television warned of hostile foreign media trying to downsize the participation of Iranians in the march but expressed confidence that "they would be confounded by the unprecedented level of attendance". "And that's why, before 2019, we here will celebrate in Tehran!" he claimed.

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.

Iran also has vast clout in Iraq, where Major-General Qassem Soleimani, head of the overseas arm of the Revolutionary Guards, was frequently photographed guiding Shi'ite militias in the war against Sunni Islamic State militants. "40 Years of Failure to destabilize Iran through blood & treasure", FM Zarif wrote in a tweet on Tuesday.

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