US slams Iranian revolution for 40 years of failure as Rouhani threatens military expansion

Iranian Revolutionary Guard members arrive for a ceremony celebrating the 40th anniversary of the Islamic Revolution. (AP)
Updated 12 February 2019
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US slams Iranian revolution for 40 years of failure as Rouhani threatens military expansion

  • The Iranian president said Iran does not need permission to develop their militaristic capabilities
  • Rouhani says Iran determined to expand its military power and ballistic missile program

WASHINGTON: Iran’s Islamic revolution four decades ago has been a complete failure for the country, President Donald Trump said Monday.

In a tweet written on the anniversary of the upheaval that was also sent out in Farsi, Trump said: “40 years of corruption. 40 years of repression. 40 years of terror. The regime in Iran has produced only #40YearsofFailure.

“The long-suffering Iranian people deserve a much brighter future,” he added.

Earlier, Trump’s chief foreign policy adviser John Bolton issued a similar statement, tweeting that “it’s been 40 yrs of failure. Now it’s up to the Iranian regime to change its behavior, & ultimately up to the Iranian people to determine the direction of their country.”

Bolton said Washington would support “the will of the Iranian people, & stand behind them to ensure their voices are heard.”

Bolton, a leading hawk in the Trump administration’s attempt to weaken Iranian influence, was tweeting as a huge crowd in Tehran gathered to celebrate the 1979 revolution, in which Muslim leader Ayatollah Ruholla Khomeini ended the centuries-old rule of the royal dynasty.

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani told Iranians they should resist a “conspiracy” involving Washington.

Rouhani also vowed Iran would defeat US sanctions, reimposed after Trump withdrew from Tehran’s nuclear accord with world powers last year. “The Iranian people have and will have some economic difficulties (due to the sanctions) but we will overcome the problems by helping each other,” Rouhani said.

The Trump administration has pushed hard to weaken Iran and what it says is Tehran’s “destabilizing” influence.

The two countries have not had diplomatic relations since 1980, and Trump has pulled the United States from an international agreement meant to reward Iran for giving up nuclear weapon ambitions.


Lebanese budget protesters clash with security in Beirut

Updated 20 May 2019
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Lebanese budget protesters clash with security in Beirut

  • Over one hundred protesters gathered Monday outside the Government House in downtown Beirut
  • Lebanon faces a looming fiscal crisis as the economy struggles with soaring debt

BEIRUT: Security forces opened water cannons on Lebanese anti-austerity protesters in the country’s capital on Monday, as the government continued to hold marathon meetings to discuss severe budget cuts.
Lebanon faces a looming fiscal crisis as the economy struggles with soaring debt, rising unemployment and slow growth. The government’s tightened budget and key reforms aim to unlock billions of dollars in pledged foreign assistance. But planned cuts have unleashed a wave of public discontent, amid leaks that austerity could target public wages, services and social benefits.

A retired Lebanese soldier chants slogans while holding an army flag, during a protest in Beirut, Lebanon, Monday. (AP)

Over one hundred protesters gathered Monday outside the Government House in downtown Beirut shouting “Thieves, thieves!” as the Cabinet met for its 16th session and struggles to reach agreement.
Protesters pushed back against police lines and set fire to tires outside the building. At least two policemen and one civilian were wounded in the scuffles.
Among those demonstrating Monday were public and private school teachers and retired officers.
The government, headed by Prime Minister Saad Hariri, has sought to calm nerves while also describing the upcoming budget as the most austere in Lebanon’s history.
Hariri said he hopes the government will be able to send the budget to parliament later this week.
Finance Minister Ali Hassan Khalil said the cabinet made “important progress” in discussions Sunday.