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Iranians mark anniversary of victory day in 1979 revolution

12 February 2019
Iranians mark anniversary of victory day in 1979 revolution

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

This year's celebrations come amid heightened tensions with the United States, which last year withdrew from the 2015 nuclear agreement between Tehran and world powers and reimposed tough sanctions on the Iranian economy.

In capital Tehran, demonstrators marched across different routes to reach the Azadi (Liberty) Square, where President Hassan Rouhani gave an address.

Ballistic missile capabilities were on show during the main march, including the Qadr F, a ground-to-ground missile with a range of 1,950 km., according to Tasnim news agency.

The large turnout at these state-sponsored rallies comes as Iranians faces rising prices and food shortages which have triggered waves of protests.

In a speech marking the 40th anniversary of the Islamic Revolution in Tehran, Rouhani said: "47 years ago, which is seven years before the Islamic Revolution during the reign of the traitor Pahlavi regime, an important part of southern Iran separated, and we have read that geographically it was a part of Iran, and its 14th province".

Hundreds of thousands of Iranians marched and some burned United States flags to mark the revolution's 40th anniversary on Monday as Tehran showed off ballistic missiles in defiance of USA efforts to curb its military power.

Trump said he envisioned keeping USA 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.

U.S. President Donald Trump tweeted on Monday that the Iranian government had let down its people.

"I bow in admiration to Iran's resilient people who - despite hardships and grievances - today poured into streets by the millions to mark 40th anniv of their Islamic Revolution, which some in the U.S. wished would never come", Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif tweeted. But he remained defiant as Iranians recalled the end of a monarch who catered to the rich and unleashed secret police on dissenters.

But if the USA does attack, he warned, "We will raze Tel Aviv and Haifa to the ground". "They must leave the region", said Brigadier General Hossein Salami, deputy head of Iran's Revolutionary Guards.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was quick to respond saying later on Monday it would mark Iran's last revolution anniversary if it attacked any cities in Israel. They saw the revolution as the starting gun in a competition to push out the strongman Arab nationalism that had taken hold across the Middle East.

A senior commander in Iran's Revolutionary Guards said Tehran would not withdraw its forces from the region, dismissing US calls that Iranian regional influence should be curbed.