"Today, with God's grace, the Iranian scientists have broken the chains of humiliation and the scientific monopoly of the world arrogance [the West]," Ahmadinejad said of the space program, which US officials say could enhance Iran's missile capability.
After a generation of deadlock, both the US and Iran are signaling a wish for change – but requiring that the other side first yield to longstanding demands. Mr. Obama wants Iran to give up disputed nuclear ambitions and stop supporting "terrorism," a position vilified on TV here as "Bush's words coming out of Obama's mouth."
Ahmadinejad has said that the US must apologize for numerous "crimes" against Iran, end sanctions, withdraw all troops from the region, and give up its "imperialism."
Iran's decision to talk will ultimately be made by Ayatollah Sayed Ali Khamenei, in keeping with rule by the velayat-e faqih, or supreme religious rule. On Saturday, he said a large public turnout "will make the enemy understand he has failed."
The day is one of triumph for many Iranians, who deem this anniversary a national holiday even if they complain that the revolution has not achieved its promise of freedom and prosperity.
Entire families walked for miles to the event in Tehran, holding placards that read "30 springs of freedom, 30 years of pride," and wearing their nationalism on their sleeve. Steady chants of "Death to America" and "Death to Israel" marked routes to the square, along with anti-US banners and paintings criticizing Israel's war in Gaza. State TV showed a shoe-throwing contest, with posters of US and Israeli leaders as targets.