Published: Tue, February 12, 2019
Global News | By Blake Casey

Chanting 'Death to America,' Iranians mark 40 years since Shah's fall

Chanting 'Death to America,' Iranians mark 40 years since Shah's fall

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 retuned from exile and ousted the shah´s last government.

On Feb. 11, 1979 Iran's army declared its neutrality, paving the way for the fall of USA -backed Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi.

"We have not asked and will not ask for permission to develop different types of [.] missiles and will continue our path and our military power", Rouhani said in a speech at Tehran's Azadi square, where tens of thousands gathered to mark the 40th anniversary of Iran's Islamic revolution.

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

Rouhani pledged to pursue Iran's missile programme to defend the country from external threats.

The large turnout in state-sponsored rallies, in which USA and Israeli flags were burned, came as Iranians face mounting economic hardships which many blame on the country's clerical leaders.

The large turnout in state-sponsored rallies came as Iranians face rising prices, food shortages and high inflation that have triggered waves of protests.

Brigadier General Hossein Salami, the Revolutionary Guards deputy head, said Tehran would not withdraw forces from the region, dismissing United States calls for Iranian clout to be curbed.

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Iran "will raze Tel Aviv and Haifa" to the ground if Washington attacks the Islamic Republic, a commander for its Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) said earlier Monday to mass crowds celebrating the 40th anniversary of the Islamic revolution, according to Russian news channel Sputnik.

Iranians carried cardboard cutouts of dogs.

The United States and its Arab allies have viewed Iran with great suspicion since the Islamic Revolution swept the Shah from power in 1979, fearing Khomeini's radical ideology would inspire Islamic militants across the Middle East.

"We will not let America become victorious." he said.

"The world saw when Iran made a decision to help people of Syria, Iraq, Lebanon, Palestine and Yemen, they achieved victory".

State television offered blanket coverage of the commemorations, showing marches in cities ranging from Abadan in southwestern Iran to Mashhad in the northeast.

"They must leave the region", Brigadier General Hossein Salami said.

Soldiers, students, clerics and black-clad women holding small children thronged streets across Iran, many carrying portraits of Khomeini, who died in 1989, and Iran's current Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. "They should take that into account", Netanyahu said, as reported by Haaretz.

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