Hundreds of thousands of Iranians have rallied across Iran today carrying effigies of US President Donald Trump and chanting ‘Death to America’.
The huge crowds responded to a call from Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, who called on citizens to demonstrate that Iran is not frightened of American ‘threats’.
Trump declared that he has put the Islamic Republic ‘on notice’ and Iran is one of seven countries on the administration’s ‘travel ban’ list, which is being challenged in US courts.
Demonstrators in Tehran marched towards the Azadi ( Freedom) Square to commemorate the anniversary of Iran’s 1979 Islamic Revolution that toppled the US-backed shah.
A young Iranian man told state TV: ‘America and Trump cannot do a damn thing. We are ready to sacrifice our lives for our leader Khamenei.’
State television said millions turned out nationwide at revolution rallies in all main cities marked by the traditional anti-US and anti-Israel slogans and the burning of US 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 US courts.
Both US-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.