Vast pro-government crowds in Tehran chanted ‘Death to Israel’ and ‘Death to America’ at rallies to mark the 31st anniversary of Iran’s Islamic Revolution.
President Mahmoud Ahmedinejad – at the centre of the worst domestic crisis since 1979 – told his supporters at Freedom Square that Iran’s nuclear capability has leapt ahead.
“Every day we are producing several kilos of 20 percent enriched uranium, and in the near future we will treble its production,” he said. “Right now at Natanz we have the capability to enrich uranium to much higher levels.”
In fact, he told the crowd, Iran can now enrich uranium to more than 80 per cent purity, close to levels needed to build a bomb, though the president denied once more that that was the intention.
State television said tens of millions of people across Iran rallied to support the president.
But Ahmedinejad’s disputed election win in June last year has spawned a vocal and widespread opposition movement.