Iranians mark anniversary of victory day in 1979 revolution

REUTERS  Raheb Homavandi  File

On February 11, 1979, Iran's army declared its neutrality, paving the way for the fall of US-backed Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi.

Soldiers, students, clerics and women holding small children flocked to the streets of cities and towns, many carrying portraits of Khomeini and Iran's current Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.

"I also want to share with you that the world has been in awe of Iran's military power and its capabilities over the last 40 years and especially in the last five years..." The regime in Iran has produced only #40YearsofFailure.

"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.

The large turnout in state-sponsored rallies, in which USA and Israeli flags were burned, came as Iranians face mounting economic hardships many blame on the country's clerical leaders.

Iranians visit a weaponry and military equipment exhibition in the capital Tehran on Febraury 2, 2019, organized on the occasion of the 40th anniversary of the Islamic Revolution.

Last year, Iran cracked down on protests over poor living standards that posed the most serious challenge to its clerical elite since a 2009 uprising over disputed elections.

The Iranian Government said the event saw "epic attendance" across the nation, with reports crowds numbered in the hundreds of thousands.

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In a speech at Tehran's Azadi (Freedom) square, Rouhani said USA efforts to isolate Iran would fail.

Prices of basic foodstuffs have soared since President Donald Trump withdrew Washington from the 2015 nuclear deal in May 2019.

He also blasted a USA "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".

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. He told Iranians that the Shah cared mostly about rich people and let the country's secret police carry out abuses. One had the face of Trump and the other the face of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

"I don't ignore the threats from the Iranian regime, but I'm also not intimidated by them", Netanyahu said in a Hebrew-language video.

"If this regime makes the very bad mistake of trying to destroy Tel Aviv and Haifa, it will not succeed", the Israeli leader said.

Today, the United States, its Arab allies and Israel are trying to counter Tehran's growing influence in the Middle East, where it has proxies in Syria, Lebanon and Yemen.

A senior commander in Iran's Revolutionary Guards said Tehran would not withdraw forces from the region, dismissing USA calls for Iranian clout to be curbed.

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