Iran marked 45 years since its Islamic revolution with a ceremony on Sunday in which President Ebrahim Raisi condemned arch foe Israel over the Gaza war and demanded it be expelled from the United Nations.

Since Iran’s 1979 revolution that overthrew the US-backed Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi, the region’s main Shiite Muslim power has had deeply hostile relations with Israel, the United States and Britain.

In Tehran, Raisi accused the “Zionist entity,” Iran’s term for Israel, of committing “genocide” in Gaza with the support of the United States and other Western countries.

Supporters chanted “Down with the United States,” “Down with Israel” and “Down with the United Kingdom” at the square, where Iranian-made missiles and other military hardware were on display.

Raisi demanded that the “bombing of Gaza should be stopped as soon as possible” and declared that “the death of the Zionist regime has come” in his speech to thousands at Azadi Square in western Tehran.

He asked about Israel, “How can a regime that has violated 400 statements and resolutions of international organizations adhere to UN covenants?”

“We believe that one of the important steps that should be taken is the expulsion of the Zionist regime from the United Nations.”

Crowds in Azadi Square held up portraits of the supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, as well as of the founder of the Islamic Republic, Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, and popular general Qasem Soleimani, who was killed in an US strike in January 2020.

Around Azadi Square, Iranian-made Qiam ballistic missiles, Shahed 136 drones and Simorgh satellite launchers were on display.

With AFP