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Iranians Celebrate Revolution With Chants Of “Death To America” As Nuke Deadline Nears

Iran is marking the 36th anniversary of its 1979 Islamic Revolution with massive state-sponsored rallies. State television aired scenes from the rallies in Tehran and around the country on February 11, showing participants chanting (Persian link) “down with the U.S.”, “death to America” and “death to Israel.”

On February 11, 1979, followers of Ayatollah Ruhallah Khomeini toppled the American-backed Shah of Iran, Reza Pahlavi. The anniversary of the revolution is commemorated annually. In recent years, Iran has used it as an opportunity to organize demonstrations against the Western sanctions imposed on the regime.

According to the state-owned Alalam network, millions of Iranians carrying flags and banners rallied in dozens of cities nationwide. Beyond supporting Iran’s “peaceful” nuclear activities, participants were reportedly “condemn[ing] disrespect to Prophet Mohammad (PBUH) by cartoons published by the French Weekly Charlie Hebdo.”

The state-owned PressTV network reported on a speech given by Iranian President Hassan Rouhani on the occasion:

Addressing a massive gathering of people celebrating the victory of the 1979 Islamic Revolution in Tehran on Wednesday, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said:”We seek a win-win agreement, according to which Iran would [guarantee] the transparency of its peaceful nuclear activities within the framework of international law and [in return] the opposite side should put an end to inhumane and illegal sanctions [against Iran]. This will benefit both sides,” Rouhani said. …

The Iranian president also touched on the issue of terrorism in the Middle East and said peace will not be restored and terrorism will not be uprooted in the region without engaging Iran.

Rouhani described the Islamic Republic as “the power” that helped Iraq, Syria, Lebanon and other regional countries in their fight against terrorist groups.

Sanctions were initially imposed due to Iran’s failure to abide by its Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty obligations and sponsorship of international terror. Iran and the P5+1 countries are negotiating a long term deal governing Iran’s nuclear program. Negotiations have been complicated by Iran’s refusal to compromise and failure to account for its past nuclear research. Both sides are seeking to develop a political framework on the general terms of a nuclear agreement by March 24.

Hezbollah, Iran’s Lebanon-based proxy, has been designated as a terrorist organization by the United States and has been subject to sanctions by the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC). The move by the GCC was prompted by Hezbollah’s role in support of the regime of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. The European Union has also blacklisted Hezbollah’s “military” wing.

[Photo: PressTV News Videos / YouTube ]