President Hassan Rouhani said Iran will continue to pursue its missile programme to defend the country from external threats.

On February 11th 2010, Iran celebrated the 40th anniversary of the 1979 revolution up and down the country.

The Iranian people took to the streets to mark the momentous occasion as they renewed their allegiance to the country’s Islamic principles amid rising political and economic pressure over US sanctions.

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani addressed the crowds in Tehran’s Azadi (Freedom) Square and said US sanctions could not break the Islamic Republic.

The presence of people today on the streets all over Islamic Iran … means that the enemy will never reach its evil objectives, Rouhani said.

In a move which could be perceived as antagonistic, the president added that the country will continue to pursue its missile programme to defend the country from external threats. “We have not asked, and will never ask for permission in developing our missile arsenal as we continue to pursue our path to military might,” he said.

Iran celebrates the nationwide revolution gathering every February 11th. The event is also known as Ten-Day Dawn to commemorate the period of violent protests following the February 1st, 1979, return of Khomeini from exile. It also marks the official end of the 2,500 years of the Persian Empire.

According to Al Jazeera, tens of thousands of marchers gathered at Azadi Square in Tehran. The total crowd size across the country ranged from hundreds of thousands to millions of people.

In his speech, President Rouhani added that the 1979 revolution saved the country “from tyranny, colonisation and dependence”.

This nation has managed to establish a system of Islamic Republic and an independent system of government, Rouhani said, adding that the country has also managed to “foil the conspiracies” led by the US and Israel.

Demonstrators marched through the streets carrying anti-US and Saudi banners chanting, “Death to America”, “Death to Israel” and “Death to the al-Saud” family of Saudi Arabia.

On Friday, Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei expressed his disdain for the United States. He said the Iranian nation “will not abandon the ‘Death to America'” slogan as long as the US continues its “wickedness”.


Omar Hajjar is a journalist based in the UK. An investigative reporter, he has lived in 3 different countries in the Middle East over the past 10 years.

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