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

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

In a February 8 speech to a gathering of Iranian Army Air Force officers, Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said that Iran will not give up the "Death to America" chant as long as Washington continues its hostile policies toward Tehran.

The events Monday were the culmination of official celebrations called the "10 Day Dawn" that marks the period between February 1, 1979 and February 11 when Shiite cleric Khomeini retuned from exile and ousted the shah´s last government.

Earlier this month the U.S. 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.

Netanyahu's comments came in response to a threat made by Yadollah Javani, the Guard's deputy head for political affairs, who said at a rally celebrating the 40th anniversary of the Islamic revolution that the United States "does not have the courage to shoot a single bullet at us despite all its defensive and military assets".

Iranians march towards Azadi (Freedom) Square during a ceremony celebrating the 40th anniversary of Islamic Revolution in the capital Tehran on February 11, 2019.

A number of Israeli and American flags were set on fire by the crowds. The regime in Iran has produced only #40YearsofFailure.

It was not clear whether the amnesty would also apply to political prisoners.

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Chants of "Death to America" and "Death to Israel" can commonly be heard in Iranian demonstrations of nationalist fervor, with this one being no exception.

In a speech at Tehran's Azadi square, President Hassan Rouhani dismissed USA efforts to isolate Iran, saying US sanctions could not break the Islamic Republic.

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.

Although the Iranian government has attempted to establish financial mechanisms that would facilitate its trade relations with European powers, its ability to trade internationally has been badly affected by renewed U.S. sanctions. "Iranian people have and will have some economic difficulties but we will overcome the problems by helping each other".

State television offered blanket coverage of the commemorations, showing marchers in cities ranging from Abadan in southwestern Iran to Mashad in the northeast. "We will not let America become victorious." he said.

Seemingly reaching out to his political critics within the country, the president added: "The more we allow different ideas, beliefs and (political) factions the stronger our system will be". Revolutionaries later began executing supporters of the Shah including four top generals.

A pre-prepared resolution was read out ahead of his speech that proclaimed "unquestioning obedience to the supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei" and called US President Donald Trump an "idiot".

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