Iranian President Hassan Rouhani addressed the crowds which filled Tehran's Azadi (freedom) square to commemorate the 37th anniversary of the Islamic revolution. Iranians celebrated the revolution with the traditional anti-US and anti-Israel slogans, while burning the two countries's flags.

Some protesters made a point of taunting the United States. A group of demonstrators reconstructed the scene of 10 American sailors kneeling in Iranian custody. The sailors were captured after two of their boats mistakenly entered Iranian territorial waters; they were released the next day. Authorities also displayed an array of weaponry and military hardware, including the Emad long-range ballistic surface-to-surface missile and a version of the Shahed drone which flew over a US aircraft carrier in the Persian Gulf.

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Iranian schoolboys reenact the detention of US sailors by Iran's Revolutionary Guards during celebrations marking the 37th anniversary of the Islamic revolutionAFP
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An Iranian woman holds an anti-US slogan during celebrations in Tehran's Azadi Square (Freedom Square) to mark the 37th anniversary of the Islamic revolutionAtta Kenare/ AFP
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Iranian schoolgirls wave their national flag and hold an anti-US slogan during celebrations in Tehran's Azadi Square (Freedom Square) to mark the 37th anniversary of the Islamic revolutionAtta Kanare/ AFP
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Iranians hold an anti-US slogan during celebrations in Tehran's Azadi Square (Freedom Square) to mark the 37th anniversary of the Islamic revolutionAtta Kenare/ AFP
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Iranian President Hassan Rouhani delivers a speech during a rally in Tehran's Azadi Square (Freedom Square) to mark the 37th anniversary of the Islamic revolutionAtta Kenare/ AFP
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Iranians hold an anti-US slogan depicting a bloodied John Kerry, during celebrations in Tehran's Azadi Square (Freedom Square) to mark the 37th anniversary of the Islamic revolutionAtta Kanare/ AFP
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An Iranian soldier stands guard during a ceremony in Tehran marking the 37th anniversary of the Islamic revolution Raheb Homavandi/ Reuters

In 1979, Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, often referred to as Ayatollah Khomenei, led a revolution against the Westernisation efforts of the Shah, a dictatorial monarchy who was perceived by many as a puppet of a non-Muslim western power, namely the United States, whose culture was contaminating that of Iran.

Among other things, the Shah's regime was considered oppressive and corrupt, suffering from basic functional failures. The Shah had a significant influence on the majority of Iranians, who tended to be great traditionalists and were alienated from any process of Westernisation.

The Iranian Revolution on 11 February 1979 saw the fall of Mohammed Reza Shah Pahlavi, who had been the Shah of Iran from 1941.

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Thousands of people gather at Tehran Freedom Square, to cheer the motorcade carrying Iranian opposition leader and founder of Iran's Islamic republic, Ayatollah Khomeini, upon his return from exile on 1 February 1979Gabriel Duval/ AFP
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Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, the founder of Iran's Islamic republic, during a meeting in Tehran shortly after his return from 15 years of exile in February 1979Getty Images
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The Iranian Islamic Republic Army demonstrates in solidarity with people in the street during the Iranian revolution, carrying posters of Ayatollah Khomeini), the Iranian religious and political leader
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Ayatollah Khomeini (L) greeted on 2 Februry 1979 in Tehran by his supporters during his return to Iran after 15 years in exile in Iraq and FranceGabriel Duval/ AFP
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A gun battle in Khorramshahr, in south western Iran, during the Iranian revolution, January 1979Gabriel Duval/ AFP

The anniversary came amid intense infighting after the powerful Guardian Council barred the moderate candidates from running for parliament and the Assembly of Experts, which will choose the country's next supreme leader.

"Political factions should put aside any confrontation... we need consensus now," Rouhani told the Tehran crowd. "Don't turn your backs on the ballot boxes."

Iran's Parliamentary elections will be held on 26 February to elect both the Islamic Consultative Assembly and the Assembly of Experts. It will be the first time the two bodies are elected simultaneously.

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Iranians surround dummies during celebrations in Tehran's Azadi Square (Freedom Square) to mark the 37th anniversary of the Islamic revolutionAtta Kenare/ AFP
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Iranians walk past Iran's Shahed 129 drone displayed during celebrations in Tehran to mark the 37th anniversary of the Islamic revolutionAtta Kanare/ AFP
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Iranian guards march during celebrations in Tehran's Azadi Square (Freedom Square) to mark the 37th anniversary of the Islamic revolutionAtta Kenare/ AFP
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Iranians walk past the Simorgh (Phoenix) satellite rocket during celebrations in Tehran to mark the 37th anniversary of the Islamic revolutionAtta Kenare/ AFP
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Iranian President Hassan Rouhani waves as he delivers a speech during a ceremony marking the 37th anniversary of the Islamic revolution, in Tehran's Azadi SquareReuters
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Iranians hold an anti-US slogan during celebrations in Tehran's Azadi Square (Freedom Square) to mark the 37th anniversary of the Islamic revolutionAtta Kenare/ AFP
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A man carries a giant flag made of the flags of Iran, Palestine, Syria and Hezbollah, during a ceremony marking the 37th anniversary of the Islamic revolution, in TehranRaheb Homavandi/ Reuters