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Iran commander threatens to 'raze Tel Aviv' during revolution anniversary

Iranians burn flags of Israel on 40th anniversary of Islamic Revolution in Tehran [AFP/Getty Images]

Date of publication: 11 February, 2019

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Protesters burn Israeli and American flag as hundreds of thousands take to the streets on the 40th anniversary of the Iranian revolution.
A leading Iranian Revolutionary Guards commander threatened to "raze Tel Aviv to the ground" on Monday, as the country marked the 40th anniversary of the 1979 revolution that toppled the Shah.

Hundreds of thousands of Iranians took part in an event in Tehran, which saw the Israeli and US flags being burned and chants of "Death to Israel, Death to America" slogans.

The anniversary marks the day Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi's forces were defeated and his government collapsed. Ayatollah Khomeini returned from exile and was installed as the head of the new Islamic Republic.

One banner on display shows Iranian astronauts erecting their national flag on the moon under a caption that reads "We will celebrate the 60th anniversary of the Islamic Republic without Israel."

Senior leadership in Iran also specified last week that "Death to America" meant death to US President Trump, his national security adviser Mike Bolton and the secretary of state Mike Pompeo - not the American people. 

Iran has been locked in the past year by massive protests over unemployment, high prices, and food shortages, which have worsened following US sanctions.

"We will not let America become victorious… Iranian people have and will have some economic difficulties but we will overcome the problems by helping each other.


President Trump withdrew the US from what he called a "defective" multinational nuclear deal and reinstated punishing sanctions last year, crippling the Iranian economy in what officials in Tehran have deemed "economic warfare".

In a speech at Tehran's Azadi (Freedom) Square, President Hassan Rouhani said US sanctions could not break the will of Iran.

"We will not let America become victorious… Iranian people have and will have some economic difficulties but we will overcome the problems by helping each other," he said in a speech.

The EU is working to maintain the 2015 nuclear deal with Iran but tensions are mounting between the two sides as Iran expands its missile capabilities.

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