President Rouhani leads the rain-soaked commemoration in Tehran and vows to continue the country’s missile programme.
Tehran, Iran – Despite the rain and snow in the Iranian capital, thousands marched through Tehran’s major streets to commemorate the 40th anniversary of the Islamic revolution.
Monday’s turnout might have been affected by the weather but the intensity of rhetoric against the United States and its allies – Israel and Saudi Arabia – was still prominent in the banners carried by the demonstrators.
The marchers were also seen setting on fire American and Israeli flags, and stepping on a caricature of US President Donald Trump, who in 2018 decided to reimpose economic sanctions on the country.
Among those present at the march were President Hassan Rouhani and reformist members of parliament, Mohammad Reza Aref and Ali Motahari, as well as senior Muslim leaders.
Rouhani said he will not seek permission from foreign powers to boost Iran‘s missile programme, which he said is necessary to defend the country from external threats.
Local reports say that similar demonstrations were held in other major cities, including Mashhad, the second largest metropolis in Iran.
Monday’s event, which is also referred to as the Ten-Day Dawn, marks the 10 days of protests, which followed the return from exile of Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, who led the 1979 revolution, which successfully overthrew the American-backed monarch of Iran, Mohammad Reza Shah Pahlavi.
Earlier on Sunday, Iran’s foreign ministry declared that since 1979, the nation is now “more mature, prudent, and powerful than ever”.