Trump taunts Iran on 40th anniversary of Islamic Revolution

Blanche Robertson
February 12, 2019

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.

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani told Iranians who had gathered in Tehran's Azadi (Freedom) Square they should resist a "conspiracy" involving Washington.

He said that while Iran will continue to have "constructive engagement" with the worldwide community, it will not ask for permission to produce any type of missile it wants.

Life-size replicas of Iranian-made cruise and ballistic missiles stood in a statement of defiance after the USA previous year reimposed sanctions following its withdrawal from a deal on Tehran's nuclear programme.

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

Iranians took part in a mass rally in the capital, Tehran to mark the 40th anniversary of the 1979 Islamic Revolution.

Over the past decade, Iran has frequently test-fired and displayed missiles, sent several short-lived satellites into orbit and in 2013 launched a monkey into space.

In a report coinciding with the celebrations, Reporters Without Borders (RSF) said that 61,900 political prisoners had been held in Iran since the 1980s. Some demonstrators shouted "Death to Israel, Death to America" - sayings often repeated at the time of the revolution.

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The Blue Devils shot 61.9 percent from the three-point line. "It was really kind of neat to see the kids step up that way". Two teams split the first-place votes and seven different conferences are represented in the top 10 of the AP poll.

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. "It has been moving forward over the past 40 years and making Iran stronger". Iranian people have and will have some economic difficulties but we will overcome the problems by helping each other, ' Rouhani said.

Elsewhere, the head of the elite Quds Force of Iran's powerful Revolutionary Guard, Gen. Qassem Soleimani, attended the rally in the southern city of Kerman.

"At the revolution's 40 anniversary we are on top of scientific achievements like nanotechnology or accurate missiles", he said.

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".

He compared the USA 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.

Extensive fireworks displays were held across Tehran on Sunday night, timed to coincide with the demonstrations.

Soldiers, students, clerics and black-clad 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.

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