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In Revolution anniversary speech, Rouhani lays claim to Bahrain, other neighbors

13 February 2019
In Revolution anniversary speech, Rouhani lays claim to Bahrain, other neighbors

In January, President Hassan Rouhani said Iran was facing its worst economic crisis since the Shah was toppled. Marchers walked down the street chanting, "Death to Israel".

"We do not and we will not ask permission for producing any type of missiles from anybody", Rouhani said in his speech Monday, though he stressed that Iran would "continue constructive engagement" with the global community.

Another Iranian official warned that his country would destroy cities in Israel if the United States attacked Iran.

Today marks the fortieth anniversary of the Islamic Revolution in Iran - the year-plus struggle, ending in February 1979, that resulted in the ouster of the Shah and the ascendance of a zealous Islamist theocracy that has ever since been in a perpetual state of cold war with the broader West. It later broadcast footage showing crowds across this country of 80 million.

This year's anniversary comes as Iran deals with the aftermath of President Trump's decision in May to withdraw from the 2015 nuclear deal and restore tough USA sanctions.

Celebrations culminated in Iran on Monday for the February 1-11 period in 1979 when the late Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini returned from exile and ousted the pro-Western shah.

In the backdrop to Monday's marches, the military displayed Iranian-made missiles, which authorities showcase every year during anniversary celebrations.

"The Iranian people have and will have some economic difficulties [due to the sanctions] but we will overcome the problems by helping each other", Rouhani said in his address.

Current supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei is set to publish "a detailed statement explaining the "second step" of the progress of the Islamic revolution", his official website said. "My mother, despite her illness, asked me to bring her out", he said.

He said: "I came today to defend the ideals of the revolution".

"I'm impressed by everything I've seen here, of course you cannot show everything, but these missiles you see behind - these missiles can go very far, against any enemy, including Iran's proxies in our region", Netanyahu said on a visit to the naval base in Haifa.

State TV showed large crowds defying frigid weather and carrying Iranian flags while chanting "Death to Israel, Death to America", trademark chants of the revolution. "Now it's up to the Iranian regime to change its behavior, & ultimately up to the Iranian people to determine the direction of their country". As The Times of Israel notes, "t$3 op political and military leaders in Iran regularly call for Israel's annihilation", so Javani's paean to his regime's genocidal ambitions is not at all unprecedented.