‘Death to Israel’ chants mark Iran anniversary

Hundreds of thousands of Iranians have gathered in Tehran to mark the anniversary of the 1979 Islamic revolution

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To mark the 35th anniversary of the 1979 Islamic revolution, hundreds of thousands of Iranians on Tuesday gathered in Tehran chanting “Down with the U.S.” and “Death to Israel,” according to state media reports.

Meanwhile, in a speech marking the 35th anniversary of the 1979 Islamic revolution, Iranian President Hassan Rowhani attacked economic sanctions imposed by the West as “brutal, illegal and wrong” and said countries in the region had nothing to fear from Iran.

Rowhani also hit out at Western assertions that a military solution to a nuclear dispute with Tehran remained an option and pledged that Tehran would press on “forever” with what he called peaceful atomic research.

The traditional anti-American rhetoric in Iran persists despite a political shift in the country since last year’s election of Rowhani, who is pursuing a policy of outreach to the West.

Part of this has been the landmark nuclear deal struck between Iran and global powers last November, in which Tehran agreed to cap its controversial uranium enrichment program in return for the easing of some sanctions by the West.

The 1979 revolution toppled the pro-U.S. Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi and brought Islamists to power.

Iranian state media reported there were also rallies in other parts of the country.

(With the Associated Press)