Hundreds of thousands of Iranians rallied on Sunday to mark the anniversary of Iran’s 1979 Islamic revolution, denouncing the United States and Israel as “oppressors”.
Demonstrators burned American and Israeli flags, as well as images of President Donald Trump, whose refusal to re-certify the nuclear deal with world powers has riled Iranians. A few burned a white sheet reading “BARJAM,” the Farsi acronym for the 2015 nuclear accord that Tehran signed with world powers.
President Hassan Rouhani, addressing flag-waving crowds on central Tehran’s Azadi (Freedom) Square, made no specific reference to Israel’s air strikes in Syria on Saturday which it said were aimed at air defense and Iranian targets.
But he told the crowd: “They (US and Israel) wanted to create tension in the region … they wanted to divide Iraq, Syria … They wanted to create long-term chaos in Lebanon but … but with our help their policies failed.”
In a show of defiance of Western pressure to curb its ballistic missile program, Iran put its Ghadr ballistic missile with a range of 2,000 km (1,240 miles) on display in Tehran’s central Vali-ye Asr street.
Iran says its missile program is solely defensive in nature and is not negotiable as demanded by the United States and the Europeans.