ISTANBUL — Hundreds of thousands of Iranians held rallies across the country Friday to mark the anniversary of the Islamic revolution, as the main march in Tehran added a new twist: displaying placards praising Americans who protested President Trump’s entry ban.
The annual rallies traditionally feature anti-U.S. chants and burning of the American flag. But this year’s gathering paid notice to the deep U.S. political divides over Trump’s executive order to bar entry from seven Muslim-majority countries, including Iran.
Friday’s march included signs championing the Americans who protested Trump’s plan, which is now suspended by U.S. federal judges.
“Americans are welcome and invited to visit Iran,” another sign at the rallies read.
Addressing crowds in Tehran, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said the demonstrations were a message to the White House that Iran will not bow to any threats.
The marchers “are telling the world” to “speak to the Iranian nation with respect,” Rouhani said, according to the semiofficial Fars News Agency. Anyone confronting Iran will “regret” their aggressive policies, added Rouhani, a moderate who was elected president in 2013 and who supported the 2015 nuclear deal with the United States and five other world powers.