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Iranians mark anniversary of victory day in 1979 revolution

12 February 2019

State TV showed crowds defying rainy weather and carrying Iranian flags while shouting anti-Israeli and anti-US slogans.

An Iranian girl poses with a potrait of the country's Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei with signs reading "Down with USA" and "Down with Israel" during a ceremony celebrating the 40th anniversary of Islamic Revolution by the capital Tehran's Azadi (Freedom) tower in the square of the same name on February 11, 2019.

After decades of hostility with the United States, the Islamic Republic vowed to increase its military strength despite mounting pressure from Western countries.

The Shah was the United States' closest ally in the Middle East.

Ballistic missile capabilities were on display during the main march, including the Qadr F, a ground-to-ground missile with a 1,950-km (1,220-mile) range, Tasnim news agency said. The problem, for Khamenei, is that there is a public record of such virulent, hateful chanting going as far back as the 1979 Islamic Revolution.

The state has played up this year's anniversary as 40 is symbolic of maturity in the Islamic tradition and the age at which Prophet Mohammed received revelations from God. Trump also reestablished US economic sanctions against Iran.

Iran even holds an annual "Death to America" rally every November to commemorate the seizure of the U.S. Embassy in 1979, leading to a 444-day hostage crisis in which the Iranian regime held 52 Americans prisoner.

Yadollah Javani, deputy head of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps political bureau, said during a rally that Israel would pay if the U.S. attacked Iran.

Dismissing calls that Iranian regional influence should be curbed, the deputy commander of Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) was quoted as saying on February 11 that "the enemy can not ask us to leave the region".

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu speaks during an event in Tel Aviv, Israel, August 9, 2017.

The remarks came a day after Trump tweeted about 40 years of "corruption, repression and terror", reacting to the 40th anniversary of Iran's Islamic Revolution, which he claimed was followed by "the regime in Iran producing only 40 years of failure". "I am not ignoring the threats of the Iranian regime, but nor I am impressed by them", he said.

"If this regime makes the awful mistake and tries to destroy Tel Aviv or Haifa, it won't be successful and it will be the last anniversary of their revolution they will ever celebrate". "They should take this into account", Netanyahu said in a warning to his country's archfoe.

At a rally in Tehran, president Hassan Rouhani addressed the crowds for almost 45 minutes, lashing out at Iran's enemies - America and Israel - and claiming their efforts to "bring down" Iranians through sanctions will not succeed.

Iran also has vast clout in Iraq, where Major-General Qassem Soleimani, head of the overseas arm of the Revolutionary Guards, was frequently photographed guiding Shi'ite militias in the war against Sunni Islamic State militants.

Iranians mark anniversary of victory day in 1979 revolution