ANKARA Feb 10 Hundreds of thousands of Iranians
rallied across Iran on Friday to swear allegiance to the
clerical establishment following U.S. President Donald Trump's
warning that he had put the Islamic Republic "on notice", state
Carrying "Death to America" banners and effigies of Trump,
Iranians in Tehran marched towards the Azadi ( Freedom) Square
to commemorate the anniversary of Iran’s 1979 Islamic Revolution
that toppled the U.S.-backed shah.
Iran's most powerful authority Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali
Khamenei had on Tuesday called Iranians to take part in the
demonstrations to show Iran was not frightened of American
"America and Trump cannot do a damn thing. We are ready to
sacrifice our lives for our leader Khamenei," a young Iranian
man told state TV.
Last week Trump put Iran "on notice" in reaction to a Jan.
29 Iranian missile test and imposed fresh sanctions on
individuals and entities. Iran said it will not halt its missile
Pragmatist President Hassan Rouhani also called on Iranians
to join the rally on Friday to "show their unbreakable ties with
the Supreme Leader and the Islamic Republic."
State television said millions turned out nationwide at
revolution rallies in all main cities marked by the traditional
anti-U.S. and anti-Israel slogans and the burning of U.S. flags.
On social media, like Twitter and Facebook, many Iranians
used the hashtag of #LoveBeyondFlags, urging an end to
flag-burning during the anniversary.
They also thanked Americans for opposing Trump's executive
order banning travelers from seven mainly Muslim countries,
including Iran. Trump's travel ban is being challenged in U.S.
Both U.S.-based social media sites are blocked in Iran by a
wide-reaching government censor but they are still commonly used
by millions of Iranians who use special software to get around
the restrictions. Iranian officials, including Khamenei, have
Twitter and Facebook accounts despite the ban.
Trump has criticised a nuclear deal reached between Iran,
the United States and other major powers in 2015 aimed at
curbing the country's nuclear work.
Most of the sanctions imposed on Iran were lifted last year
under the deal.
(Writing by Parisa Hafezi)