Iranians Celebrate 35th Anniversary of 1979 Revolution

Tehran marks 35 years since the revolution that toppled the pro-U.S. Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi and brought Islamists to power; Rohani pledges peaceful atomic research 'forever.'

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Iranians are marking the anniversary of the 1979 Islamic revolution with the same old chants of "Down with the U.S." and "Death to Israel."

Hundreds of thousands of Iranians have gathered in Tehran for the 35th anniversary of the revolution that toppled the pro-U.S. Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi and brought Islamists to power.

Iranian President Hassan Rohani hit out on Tuesday 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.

In a speech marking the 35th anniversary of the 1979 Islamic revolution, Rohani also attacked economic sanctions imposed by the West as "brutal, illegal and wrong" and said countries in the region had nothing to fear from Iran.

Iran's military test-fired two new domestically made missiles on Monday, a gesture of national resolve ahead of talks next week with world powers to try to reach an agreement on curbing Tehran's nuclear program.

State media reported similar rallies elsewhere in Iran on Tuesday.

The traditional anti-American rhetoric came despite a significant political shift in Tehran, with the election last year of President Hassan Rohani who is pursuing a policy of outreach to the West.

Also, Tehran and world powers struck a landmark nuclear deal in November under which Iran would cap its controversial uranium enrichment program in return for the easing of some sanctions by the West.

Iranians pray in front of U.S. Embassy in Tehran, Iran, Nov. 1979.Credit: AP
Iranian President Hassan Rohani waves as he delivers a speech during a rally in Tehran's Azadi Square (Freedom Square) to mark the 35th anniversary of the Islamic revolution on February 11, 2014.
In this March 30, 1979 photo, Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi poses with his family: from left are Leila Pahlavi, Alireza Pahlavi, the shah, Farah Diba Pahlavi, and Reza Pahlavi. Credit: AP

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