But like his immediate predecessor, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, Mr. Rouhani warned that threats would cost Iran’s counterparts in the talks. “If they want to repeat the unpleasant and incorrect methods of the past, they should know that they will act to the detriment of their own nation, region and global welfare and stability,” he said.
The rally was a blend of nationalist zeal and family fun. Clowns explained to children the importance of brushing their teeth. Actors re-enacted scenes from the war between Iran and Iraq. Parachutists dropped candy into the crowds.
At one stage, hundreds of people watched Pangool, a famous Iranian children’s television puppet, explain that the children’s presence neutralized American threats. “They say all options are on the table,” the puppet said, “but it is your active presence here in the rally that is our answer to them!” Some children looked puzzled, but just the sight of Pangool was an attraction, one parent said.
In the distance, the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps band played songs from the 1979 revolution, as one cleric, Mohammad Moshabarati, 28, marched by, holding a long pole bearing an Islamic flag. “Everything you see here is the achievement of our supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei,” he said. “Our slogan is, ‘Death to U.S.,’ and it will be so forever, no matter what President Rouhani agrees with the Americans.”
There were reports that activists belonging to the silenced opposition movement had planned to join the rallies, and plainclothes police officers could be seen among the crowd. Social media reported the arrests of six people, but this could not be independently verified.
The Iranian government also hosted a lavish 35th-anniversary dinner buffet at the United Nations on Monday night, where hundreds of diplomats and other guests, including Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, mingled.
Iran’s military has been using the anniversary to show defiance of the United States, test firing new missiles and engaging in other acts of bravado. On Tuesday, the Fars News Agency, which is closely aligned with the Revolutionary Guards, featured interviews with senior commanders boasting about an Iranian naval flotilla’s planned voyage to the Atlantic with the intent of patrolling the United States maritime borders — the counterpoint to what the United States Fifth Fleet does in the Persian Gulf.
“All countries, including Iran, are entitled to the right to be present in the free waters, and we don’t seek to violate any country’s territorial waters,” Rear Adm. Habibollah Sayyari was quoted by Fars as saying while he participated in the annual rallies. Col. Steve Warren, a Pentagon spokesman,said Monday that the United States was not concerned.