Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani on Tuesday called for “fair and constructive” nuclear talks with world powers as the nation marked the anniversary of the 1979 Islamic revolution with massive rallies, complete with anti-American and anti-Israeli chants.
The crowd burned U.S. and Israeli flags with pictures of President Barack Obama and Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and shouted “Down with the U.S.” and “Death to Israel” chants that are commonplace on most Iranian rallies but now come against the backdrop of Mr Rouhani’s policy of outreach to the West.
Mr Rouhani’s appeal came ahead of next week’s talks between Iran and six world powers seeking to eliminate fears that Tehran may use its nuclear programmes to make atomic weapons. Both sides are to meet on Feb. 18 in Vienna to try to translate a landmark interim deal struck in November into a permanent agreement.
“Iran is determined to hold fair and constructive talks within the framework of international regulations and we hope to see such an intention on the other side as well,” Mr Rouhani told hundreds of thousands gathered in Tehran’s Azadi, or Liberty, square and in the streets leading to it.
Tuesday marks the 35th anniversary of the revolution that toppled the pro-U.S. Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi and brought Islamists to power. State media reported similar rallies elsewhere across the country, saying the gatherings drew millions of Iranians.
Keywords: Iran nuke issue