DUBAI (Reuters) – Hundreds of thousands of Iranians marched, and some burned US flags to mark the 40th anniversary of the revolution on Monday, when Iranian leaders demonstrated a newly developed ballistic missile against US efforts to curb their military might.
Soldiers, students, clerics and black-clad women with small children crowded the streets of Iran, many with portraits of Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, the Shiite cleric who toppled the Shah in an Islamic uprising still raging in the West ,
On February 11, 1979, the Iranian Army declared its neutrality and paved the way for the case of Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi, the United States' closest ally in the Middle East.
State television showed that the crowds braved cold rain and carried Iranian flags while shouting "Death for Israel, Death for America." Hallmarks of the revolution that drove the major allies of the United States in the Middle East.
"The revolution reached its 40th year for America's 40th dismay," says a banner.
Following decades of hostility toward the United States, Tehran said he was determined to expand his military power and his ballistic missile program despite the increasing pressure from enemy countries to restrict his defense work.
Iran demonstrated its ballistic missile capabilities during the march, including the Zolfaqar, a 700km ground-to-ground missile and 800km of Qiam, according to Tasnim News Agency.
"We have not asked for permission to develop various types of … missiles, and will continue our path and our military might," said President Hassan Rouhani in a speech on Tehran's Azadi Square (Freedom).
CRACKDOWN ON THE PROTEST
In Washington, US security adviser Bolton, who had expressed hope in 201
The heavy involvement in state-sponsored rallies that burned down American and Israeli flags has left Iranians facing increasing economic difficulties, with much to blame for the country's clerical leaders.
Images on social media showed some demonstrators holding placards protesting against corruption, unemployment and high prices.
"Our presence on the 40th anniversary of the revolution is to show our support for the Islamic Republic," one said.
"But that does not mean that we support the corruption of some officials and their betrayal of the oppressed."
Reuters was unable to independently verify the images.
Last year, Iran fought against the poor living standards that have challenged its clerical leaders since a 2009 uprising over contentious elections.
Prices Staples, especially meat, have risen since President Donald Trump withdrew Washington from the 2015 nuclear deal last year and re-imposed sanctions.
In January, Rouhani said Iran faces the worst economic crisis since the Shah was overthrown. Nevertheless, he remained defiant, as the Iranians remembered the end of a monarch, who looked after the rich and unleashed secret police with dissidents.
Rouhani said US efforts to isolate Iran would fail.
"We will not allow America to become victorious … The Iranian people have and will have some economic difficulties, but we will overcome the problems by helping each other," he said.
US. AND ISRAELI "DOGS"
The demonstrators wore cardboard cutouts from dogs. One had the face of Trump and the other the face of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
Yadollah Javani, deputy head of the Revolutionary Guides for Political Affairs, said Iran would destroy cities in Israel if the United States attacks the Islamic Republic.
"The United States does not have the courage to shoot a single bullet in spite of all defense and military goods," quoted the state news agency IRNA.
Khomeini returned from exile in France two weeks after the Shah and his wife flew to Aswan in Egypt. He was greeted by millions of supporters in Tehran. Later, revolutionaries began executing supporters of the Shah, including four top generals.
Khomeini died in 1989 and was succeeded by Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.
Washington and the Arab world have viewed Iran with great distrust since the Islamic Revolution, fearing that Khomeini's radical ideology would inspire militants in the Middle East.
Today, the United States and its Arab allies seek to counteract the growing influence of Tehran in the Middle East, where they are represented in Iraq, Syria, Lebanon and Yemen.
Some Iranians criticize their leaders for what they call foreign adventures in which money is wasted. The Iranian leaders say they protect national interests.
Additional coverage by BozorgMore Sharafeddin in London and Babak Dehghanpisheh; Letter from Michael Georgy, cut by Andrew Cawthorne, William Maclean