0158 GMT February 22, 2019
Forty years on from the Islamic Revolution, Iranians once again flocked to the streets of Tehran and other cities and towns across the country to mark the anniversary of the 1979 revolution.
Carrying Iranian flags and chanting various slogans, people from all walks of life took part in the nationwide rallies.
Despite rising economic pressure exerted by the United States in recent years, Iranians braved the cold weather and snow, turned out in droves to highlight support for the revolution.
Country’s top officials also participated in the rallies to show their allegiance to the revolution which led to the collapse of the US-backed monarch.
Addressing demonstrators at Tehran’s iconic Azadi Square, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said that Iran will continue interaction with the world and defeat all US plots in the coming years just as it has done over the past four decades.
"The Iranian people have and will have some economic difficulties (due to the sanctions) but we will overcome the problems by helping each other," Rouhani said.
Last year, the US unilaterally abandoned the international nuclear pact with Iran and reimposed its toughest sanctions ever, in a move which is viewed as a regime change attempt against the Islamic Republic.
Praising strong presence
Rouhani told the demonstrators that their presence ruined all the plots the enemies had hatched over the past year to pressure the nation politically and economically.
“This presence makes it clear that the enemy will never succeed and the Revolution will continue on the same path as in the past 40 years,” the president said. “We will not let America succeed,” he added.
US National Security Adviser John Bolton had said the outcome of the country's policy review should be to determine that Iran's Revolution would not last until its 40th birthday.
"And that’s why, before 2019, we here will celebrate in Tehran!” he had told a convention of the terrorist MKO group in Paris in 2017.
Rouhani reminisced about the nation’s resistance during the Iran-Iraq War, when former Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein, backed by the West and the Soviet Union, attacked Iran.
“Let the whole world know that today Iran enjoys higher levels of preparedness, combat and defense” and Iranian armed forces make 85 percent of their weapons and equipment as opposed to the Pahlavi era, when the figure stood at around 5 percent, Rouhani added.
The Iranian president also made it clear that Tehran would not ask for permission to strengthen its defenses.
“We have not asked and will not ask for permission to develop different types of ... missiles and will continue our path and our military power,” Rouhani said.
Iran’s regional role
Pointing to the country’s regional role, he said that Iran was not going to roll back its regional influence either.
“Over the past five years, Iran provided assistance to Iraqi, Syrian, Lebanese, Palestinian and Yemeni nations when it saw fit and the world saw how the enemies failed” and now they are leaving the region, he said, referring to Trump’s decision to withdraw American troops from Syria and Afghanistan.
“Iran’s role in the region has reached a historical peak and no matter what other countries and superpowers say, Iran is the only country that can rush to help regional states,” he said.
“If you want regional security, no plan will succeed without Iran, and the global arrogance, Americans and Zionists should know that this victory will be Iran’s.”
US officials have adopted an extremely hostile policy toward Iran under the Trump administration, with Secretary of State Mike Pompeo pledging to “starve” Iranians until they give in to American demands.