Leaders of Israel, Iran both throw threats

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.//photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

As Iran celebrates its 40-year anniversary, tensions have escalated between Iran and Israel, with leaders trading threats of mutual discussion on Feb. 11. A commander of the Revolutionary Guard Corps, Iran’s elite paramilitary, threatened to destroy the Israeli cities of Tel Aviv and Haifa if the United States attacked Iran. Benjamin Netanyahu responded saying that he will not hesitate to use military force to protect Israel if necessary. “I don’t ignore the threats from the Iranian regime, but I’m also not intimidated by them,” Netanyahu said.

Thousands of Iranians gathered in Azadi square in Tehran, one of the capital’s most important monuments. State news channels showed crowds marching and chanting “Death to America, Death to Israel,” one of the revolution’s slogans.

Marchers hold both Iranian flags and American flags, except the American flags are set on fire. Until 1979, Iran was ruled by a U.S. backed Shaw. The revolution represents both a return to traditional Islamic values and a rebellion against the western lifestyle and western influence. In a speech, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said that the 1979 revolution saved the country “from tyranny, colonization and dependence”. Ayatollah Alli Khamenei said that the marchers will not abandon their death to America slogan until the U.S. abandons their wickedness.