Hostility to America and Israel were the dominant themes as Iranians marked the 33rd anniversary of the Islamic revolution that toppled the Shah. Crying ‘Death to Israel and the US’, tens of thousands of Iranians joined state-organised rallies to celebrate the occasion.
There were also cheers when President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad declared to a crowd in Tehran that what he described as “very important” developments in the country’s controversial nuclear programme would be unveiled in the coming days.
The hardening of anti-Western attitudes in Tehran reflects growing tensions over the nuclear issue. International sanctions are taking their toll on Iran, which denies it is trying to develop atomic weapons.
With Iran seeking to rally support among its traditional allies, Hamas’ Ismail Haniyeh was an honoured guest at the celebrations. However, the Palestinian Islamist movement is said to be divided over how much it wants to align itself with an increasingly isolated Iran.