Iran vaunts military, taunts United States as revolution turns 40

Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini speaks from a balcony in Tehran during Iran's revolution in February 1979

Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini speaks from a balcony in Tehran during Iran's revolution in February 1979

President Hassan Rohani blasted a US "conspiracy" against Iran as the country marked the 40th anniversary of the 1979 Islamic revolution that ended the monarchy and heralded the start of four decades of clerical rule.

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

In a speech at Tehran's Azadi (Freedom) square, Rouhani said US efforts to isolate Iran would fail.

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

An Iranian man marches with a portrait of the country's Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei (L) alongside a woman holding up another of Islamic Revolution founder Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini (R) during a ceremony celebrating the 40th anniversary of Islamic Revolution in the capital Tehran on February 11, 2019.

Every year, the anniversary festivities start on February 1 - the day Khomeini returned home from France after 14 years in exile to become the supreme leader as Shiite clerics took power - and continue for 10 days, climaxing on February 11.

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

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

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There are armed forces here and a people to defend the honor, dignity, and decorum". The shipment of U.S. aid is now in Cucuta, Colombia, on the border.

"At the revolution's 40 anniversary we are on top of scientific achievements like nanotechnology or accurate missiles", he said. "They will not achieve their ill-omened aims".

Earlier this month the United States vowed to pressure Iran to curtail its missile program after the Islamic Republic unveiled a new ballistic missile with a range of 1,000 kilometers (620 miles) and tested a new cruise missile, both capable of reaching targets in Israel.

A senior commander in Iran's Revolutionary Guards said Tehran would not withdraw forces from the region, dismissing US calls for Iranian clout to be curbed.

Mahmoud Hemmati, 35, was pushing his 68-year-old mother, Parivash Fakheri, in a wheelchair.

Fakheri, who was one of the revolutionaries on the streets of Tehran in 1979, said she would defend the revolution all over again. "I don't think you'll have many more anniversaries to enjoy".

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.

People from different walks of life have attended the processions with flags of Iran and banners in support of the Islamic Republic to mark the revolution's ruby jubilee.

Last year, Iran cracked down on protests over poor living standards. "We will not let America become victorious." he said.

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