|Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad speaks during a rally to mark the 34th anniversary of the Islamic revolution at Azadi (liberty) Square in Tehran, Iran, Feb. 10, 2013. Hundreds of thousands of Iranians, carrying flags and banners in support of the Islamic administration, celebrated nationwide the 34th anniversary of the Islamic revolution on Sunday. (Xinhua/Ahmad Halabisaz)
TEHRAN, Feb. 10 (Xinhua) -- Hundreds of thousands of Iranians, carrying flags and banners in support of the Islamic administration, celebrated nationwide the 34th anniversary of the Islamic revolution on Sunday.
The 1979 revolution toppled the U.S.-backed regime of Shah and brought the country under the leadership of Ayatollah Seyyed Ruhollah Musavi Khomeini, an event seen as a turning point in Iran's history.
People in major Iranian cities swarmed to the streets on Sunday, carrying images of the late founder of the Islamic republic, Imam Khomeini, and his successor, incumbent Iran's leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei; while in the Azadi (Liberty) Square in the capital Tehran, people were chanting anti-U.S. and anti-Israel slogans when marking the day.
Addressing a large crowd of people gathered at Tehran's Azadi Square, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said that the Islamic republic "will not back down on its fundamental rights even a single iota" in the face of pressures.
Ahmadinejad made the remarks alluding to Western sanction pressure to curb the country's controversial nuclear program which the West considers as "suspicious" and Iran insists on its " peaceful" nature.
His remarks is significant in that hopes have recently been raised to find a way to resolve the Iranian nuclear issue during the upcoming nuclear talks between the world powers and Iran scheduled for Feb. 26 in Almaty, Kazakhstan.
He said that the West made all its efforts to "stop Iran from turning into a nuclear country" but "they failed."
The Islamic republic has turned into a nuclear state and will continue its pace to take advantage of "peaceful nuclear energy program," the president emphasized.
Enemies have done their utmost to stop Iran's progress, he said, adding that, however, no one has been able to impose its will on the Iranian nation.
Ahmadinejad downplayed Western sanction pressures on the country's energy sector and economy, saying that "If you don't want to buy Iran's oil ..., we do not sell it to you and will run the country with non-oil revenues."
On Wednesday, Washington expanded sanctions on Iran by further tightening up economic measures against the Islamic republic and adding more names to its blacklist.
The Iranian president meanwhile praised the achievements of the Islamic revolution in a number of scientific and technological areas, and said that the country has made remarkable progresses during the past 34 years which have redeemed the country's " independence."
Hailing the recent "successful" program of sending a living creature into space, he asserted that Iran will "soon put its satellite at an orbit of 36,000 km above the earth.
Regarding the recent U.S. "direct talks" proposal with Tehran over the country's nuclear issue, the Iranian president said that as Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei has said it is " unlikely" to expect negotiations "when (you are) holing a gun over the Iranian nation's head."
Khamenei on Thursday said that the Islamic republic was not interested in any talks with the United States under pressure.
The talks should be based on "justice and respect, not pressure, " Ahmadinejad said Sunday, adding that "If you (Americans) do not point a gun at Iranian nation, I myself will talk (with you)."
"We also emphasize that dialogue is better than confrontation" and during the talks "misunderstandings should be settled" and " convergence should be made," the Iranian president said, stressing that in this way dialogue would not serve "as a tool to impose the wills (of one side on the other)."