Iran vaunts military, taunts U.S. as revolution turns 40

REUTERS  Raheb Homavandi  File

In January, President Hassan Rouhani said Iran was facing its worst economic crisis since the Shah was toppled.

Chants of "Death to Israel" and "Death to Britain" followed, and demonstrators burned US and Israeli flags.

Iranians march towards Azadi (Freedom) Square during a ceremony celebrating the 40th anniversary of Islamic Revolution in the capital Tehran on February 11, 2019.

The European Union has also criticized Iran over its "destabilizing" ballistic-missile program, its "hostile activities" in several EU member states, and its meddling in countries in the Middle East.

Iran's president on Monday insisted "enemy" plots against the country would fail as vast crowds marked 40 years since the Islamic revolution at a time of heightened tensions with the United States.

"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. It later broadcast footage showing crowds across this country of 80 million.

U.S. President Donald Trump pulled out of Iran's 2015 nuclear deal with world powers past year and reimposed sanctions on Tehran, dealing a blow to the country's economy.

The events Monday were the culmination of official celebrations called the "10 Day Dawn" that marks the period between February 1, 1979, and February 11 when Shiite cleric Khomeini returned from exile and ousted the shah's last government.

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"We will not let America become victorious - Iranian people have and will have some economic difficulties, but we will overcome the problems by helping each other", he said in a speech.

Iranians march towards Azadi Square during Monday's rally.

Mahmoud Hemmati, 35, was pushing his 68-year-old mother, Parivash Fakheri, in a wheelchair.

"I am very impressed by the strength of the navy", he said, calling it a "primary component" of Israel's defensive and deterrent capabilities. "I don't think you'll have many more anniversaries to enjoy", Bolton concluded.

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.

Last week, Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei claimed that Iran's infamous "Death to America" chanting is intended not at the United States as a whole, but merely at President Trump. The regime in Iran has produced only #40YearsofFailure. "Now it's up to the Iranian regime to change its behavior, and ultimately up to the Iranian people to determine the direction of their country", national security advisor John Bolton tweeted on the anniversary of the upheaval.

Last year, Bolton told a meeting of Iranian exiles that "before 2019, we here. will celebrate in Iran".

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