Israel warns Iran this could be last anniversary

Rouhani: Iran to continue expanding military might, missile program

Iran's president on Monday insisted "enemy" plots against the country would fail as vast crowds marked 40 years since the Islamic revolution at a time of heightened tensions with the United States.

Hundreds of thousands of soldiers, militia members in camouflage fatigues, clerics, and ordinary citizens flocked to the streets of other Iranian cities and towns to commemorate February 11, 1979, when followers of Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini ousted a USA -backed monarch, Shah Reza Pahlavi.

Banners held by marchers or hung along the streets bore slogans including "Death to America", "Death to Israel", "we will trample on America", "40 years of challenge, 40 years of USA defeats".

Speaking from a podium in central Tehran, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani addressed the crowds for almost 45 minutes, lashing out at Iran's enemies - America and Israel - and claiming their efforts to "bring down" Iranians through sanctions will not succeed.

In the backdrop to Monday's marches, the military displayed Iranian-made missiles, which authorities showcase every year during anniversary celebrations and which now have a range of up to 2,000 kilometres (1,250 miles) and are able to Israel and US military bases in the region.

Bolton said Washington would support 'the will of the Iranian people, & stand behind them to ensure their voices are heard'.

Every year, the anniversary festivities start on February 1 - the day Khomeini returned home from France after 14 years in exile to become the supreme leader as Shiite clerics took power - and continue for 10 days, climaxing on February 11.

The celebrations included several instance of muscle flexing, including the launch and test of new missiles, which would put Israel squarely within precise range of the Iranian armed forces.

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

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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.

"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 uploaded to social media.

He said: "The presence of people today on the streets all over Islamic Iran means that the enemy will never reach its evil objectives".

The large crowds at state-supported marches came as Iranians increasingly face economic hardship. Iranian people have and will have some economic difficulties but we will overcome the problems by helping each other, ' Rouhani said.

"Iran has changed from a backward nation to a world power", said the 50-year-old.

Despite Iran's efforts to hide the facility, Israel has nevertheless discovered, tracked and uncovered it, the network said, as part of its effort to thwart Iran's military entrenchment in Syria.

-Gen. Hossein Salami, deputy head of Iran's Revolutionary Guards.

In Iran, the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) is the branch of the military responsible for upholding the 1979 Islamic Revolution.

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