Israel warns Iran this could be last anniversary

Israel warns Iran this could be last anniversary

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu fired back on Monday night after Iran threatened "to 'raze Tel Aviv and Haifa" to the ground, saying that if Tehran attacks Israel, it will be the last anniversary of the Islamic Revolution that they celebrate.

Soldiers, students, clerics and black-clad women holding small children thronged streets across Iran, many with portraits of Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, the Shi'ite cleric who toppled the Shah in an Islamic uprising that still haunts the West.

Monday's rallies included chants and banners declaring "Death to America" and "Death to Israel".

Iranian political and military officials have also attended the rallies along with other people to rejoice at the auspicious ceremony.

Ballistic missile capabilities were on display during the main march, including the Qadr F, a ground-to-ground missile with a 1,950-km (1,220-mile) range, Tasnim news agency said.

Crowds were marching on Monday, heading out from a dozen points in the Iranian capital toward Tehran Azadi, or Freedom Square.

One sign read, "Much to the dismay of America, the revolution has reached its 40th year".

Iranians visit a weaponry and military equipment exhibition in the capital Tehran on Febraury 2, 2019, organized on the occasion of the 40th anniversary of the Isranian revolution. 40 Years of Failure to adjust United States policy to reality.

But despite the official festivities today's Islamic republic faces acute economic challenges as it struggles with a mix of domestic hardships and USA sanctions.

The 10-day period from the return of Imam Khomeini until the revolution's victory is celebrated annually in Iran, and is known as the Ten-Day Fajr (Dawn). "But it does not mean we support corruption of some officials and their betrayal of the oppressed people".

U.S. President Donald Trump pulled out of Iran's 2015 nuclear deal with world powers past year and reimposed sanctions on Tehran, dealing a blow to the country's economy.

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Mr Bolton, a leading hawk in the Trump administration's attempt to weaken Iranian influence, was tweeting as a huge crowd in Tehran gathered to celebrate the 1979 revolution, in which Muslim leader Ayatollah Ruholla Khomeini ended the centuries-old rule of the royal dynasty.

Washington alleges Iran's launches defy a U.N. Security Council resolution calling on Iran to undertake no activity related to ballistic missiles capable of delivering nuclear weapons.

In January, Rouhani said Iran was dealing with its worst economic crisis since the Shah was toppled. But he remained defiant as Iranians recalled the end of a monarch who catered to the rich and unleashed secret police on dissenters.

"We will not let America become victorious - Iranian people have and will have some economic difficulties, but we will overcome the problems by helping each other", he said in a speech.

The Shah was the United States' closest ally in the Middle East.

Yadollah Javani, deputy head of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps political bureau, said during a rally that Israel would pay if the USA attacked Iran.

"I don't ignore the threats from the Iranian regime, but I'm also not intimidated by them", Netanyahu said in a Hebrew-language video.

"They should take that into account", he said.

Today, Iran enjoys growing influence through proxies in Iraq, Syria, Lebanon and Yemen, raising concerns in Sunni Saudi Arabia, which accuses its rival of trying to dominate the Middle East. Tehran denies that.

Cleric Hossein Firouzi told AFP Iran's revolution had achieved everything it set out to in terms of military power, political identity and scientific achievements.

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