Iranians mark anniversary of victory day in 1979 revolution

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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.

National Security Adviser John Bolton on Monday lashed out at the Iranian regime during its 40th anniversary of the Islamic Republic, lambasting the Ayatollahs for "40 years of failure", and predicting: "I don't think you'll have many more to enjoy".

Rouhani was referring to the Kingdom of Bahrain, which Iranian officials in the past have referred to as the "14th province".

Iranians visit a weaponry and military equipment exhibition in the capital Tehran on Febraury 2, 2019, organized on the occasion of the 40th anniversary of the Isranian revolution. During the speech, Rouhani also laid claims to several areas including parts of land that are now in Azerbaijan, Armenia, and Georgia.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu speaks during an event in Tel Aviv, Israel, August 9, 2017. 40 Years of Failure to adjust USA policy to reality.

"If this regime makes the bad mistake of trying to destroy Tel Aviv and Haifa, it will not succeed", the Israeli leader said.

Iranians burn Israeli flags during commemorations in the capital Tehran of the 40th anniversary of the Islamic on February 11, 2019.

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. "The long-suffering Iranian people deserve a much brighter future", Trump posted on Twitter in both English and Farsi.

The large turnout in state-sponsored rallies came as Iranians face mounting economic hardships.

State TV showed crowds defying cold rainy weather and carrying Iranian flags while shouting "Death to Israel, Death to America", trademark chants of the revolution which ousted the United States' most important ally in the Middle East.

State television offered blanket coverage of the commemorations, showing marchers in cities ranging from Abadan in south-western Iran to Mashad in the northeast, all joined in fervent denunciations of both the US and Israel.

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".

"We are here to support the revolution", the 57-year-old pensioner, who refused to give his first name, told AFP at the event in Tehran.

The US officially removed MEK, which describes itself as the biggest rival to the ruling Islamic Republic authorities, from its terrorism blacklist in 2012.

He compared the US 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. Iranian state TV, which said millions participated in the celebrations, ran archive footage of the days of the uprising and played revolutionary songs. -Gen. Hossein Salami, deputy head of Iran's Revolutionary Guards.

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