Iran vows to expand military power on 40th anniversary of 1979 revolution
Tehran, Feb 12: Iran observed the 40th anniversary of its Islamic Revolution of 1979 on Monday, February 11, and the country's president, Hassan Rouhani, vowed on the occasion to boost the country's military and missile programme, defying American pressure and sanctions.
Iran has been facing the wrath of President Donald Trump's US over its nuclear programme as Washington last year pulled out of the multilateral nuclear deal with Iran which was concluded when Barack Obama was in power and renewed sanctions on the West Asian nation.
Addressing thousands of people who assembled in Tehran's Azadi Square to mark the 40th anniversary of the overthrow of Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi, a monarch who was installed by the West, and set up clerical rule in Iran, Rouhani said Iran would continue to expand its military power and missile programme.
The Iranian leadership was clearly trying to make the occasion a milestone of its confrontation with the US which has taken all possible measures to corner it on the international stage.
Tehran presented rallies for the anniversary as a show of support for the regime and Rouhani accused his American counterpart of openly seeking a change of guard in Iran.
"Today we are the target of a psychological and economic war. Enemies who seek to belittle us, we must resolve these problems with one another. With the assistance and the help of one another ... we will be victorious in the face of America", the Iranian president said.
40 years of corruption. 40 years of repression. 40 years of terror. The regime in Iran has produced only #40YearsofFailure. The long-suffering Iranian people deserve a much brighter future. pic.twitter.com/bA8YGsw9LA— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 11, 2019
After 40 years, the Islamic Republic of Iran has failed to fulfill its promises to uphold and safeguard the rights of its citizens. The 40th anniversary of the Iranian regime only serves to highlight four decades of failure and broken promises.— John Bolton (@AmbJohnBolton) February 11, 2019
It’s been 40 yrs of failure. Now it’s up to the Iranian regime to change its behavior, & ultimately up to the Iranian people to determine the direction of their country. The U.S. will support the will of the Iranian people, & stand behind them to ensure their voices are heard.— John Bolton (@AmbJohnBolton) February 11, 2019
Even while the Iranians celebrated the occasion by reciting Quranic verses blended with revolutionary chants and carried posters of Supreme Leader Rouhallah Khomeini and hosted live radio shows, Trump and his National Security Adviser John Bolton called the occasion 40 years of failure and that the US stood by the people of Iran.