Iranians take to streets for Islamic Revolution's 40th anniversary

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State television showed crowds defying cold rainy weather and carrying Iranian flags while shouting "Death to Israel, Death to America" - trademark chants of the revolution.

Last year, Iran cracked down on protests over poor living standards that posed the most serious challenge to its clerical elite since a 2009 uprising over disputed elections.

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani on Monday commemorated the 40th anniversary of the 1979 revolution, calling it an event that saved the country "from tyranny, colonisation and dependence", reported Al Jazeera.

Hundreds of thousands of soldiers, militia members in camouflage fatigues, clerics, and ordinary citizens flocked to the streets of other Iranian cities and towns to commemorate February 11, 1979, when followers of Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini ousted a US -backed monarch, Shah Reza Pahlavi.

Prices of basic foodstuffs have soared since President Donald Trump withdrew Washington from world powers' 2015 nuclear deal with Iran a year ago and reimposed sanctions on Tehran.

Javani, the deputy for the IRGC political bureau, was speaking at a rally marking the 40th anniversary of the Islamic Revolution, when the US-backed monarchy was overthrown and replaced in power by Islamic fundamentalists. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu took note and responded: try it, and it will be the last Revolution Day the Iranians will ever celebrate. "Iranian people have and will have some economic difficulties but we will overcome the problems by helping each other", he said.

State TV showed a cartoon of the Shah being thrown into the "dustbin of history", wearing clothes in US colours and holding Iranian newspapers headlined "The Shah has left!"

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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.

"The presence of people in this celebration means that plots by the enemies ... have been defused", Rouhani said.

Top political and military leaders in Iran regularly call for Israel's annihilation, with a senior general recently claiming it would defeat the Jewish state "within three days" in the case of a war.

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Ballistic missile capabilities were on show during the main march, including the Qadr F, a ground-to-ground missile with a range of 1,950 km., according to Tasnim news agency.

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The European Union has also criticized Iran over its "destabilizing" ballistic-missile program, its "hostile activities" in several EU member states, and its meddling in countries in the Middle East.

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