Thousands of people, riding cars and motorcycles, take to the streets in major cities across Iran to mark the 43rd anniversary of the 1979 revolution.

Due to the pandemic, state television said this year, as the previous year, there should be
Due to the pandemic, state television said this year, as the previous year, there should be "no gathering or marching" by those celebrating the 1979 overthrow of the US-backed shah's regime. (AP)

Thousands of cars and motorbikes have paraded in celebration of the 43rd anniversary of Iran's 1979 Revolution, although fewer pedestrians were out for a second straight year due to concerns over the Covid-19 pandemic.

In the capital Tehran, processions started out from several points, converging on the usual meetup point at Azadi Square on Friday. 

Some had painted their cars in the red, white and green colours of the Iranian flag, while others chanted slogans of "Death to America" and "We will resist until the end" from windows as they drove by.

A number of US flags were also burnt by people chanting "We will not surrender" at Azadi Square, an AFP news agency photographer said.

Similar processions were also taken out in other major cities including Isfahan, Hamadan, Tabriz, Mashhad and Qom.

Later in the day, President Ebrahim Raisi will give at speech during Friday prayers at a mosque.

READ MORE: Iran's state broadcaster 'hacked' ahead of Iranian Revolution anniversary

A number of US flags were also burnt by people chanting
A number of US flags were also burnt by people chanting "We will not surrender" at Azadi Square. (Reuters)

Nuclear deal negotiations

On Thursday night, light and firework displays were put up across the country to commemorate the day in 1979 when the leader of Iranian revolution, Ayat ollah Khomeini, declared the end of West-backed Pahlavi rule in the Middle East country.

The events that led to the ouster of the last Pahlavi dynasty ruler – Mohammad Reza Pahlavi – and the return of Khomeini led to Iran’s deterioration of relations with the US.

The anniversary comes as negotiations to revive Tehran’s tattered nuclear deal with world powers continue in Vienna.

Raisi said on Friday that Iran "never has hope" in nuclear talks in Vienna about reviving a big power nuclear agreement that the United States quit under then-president Donald Trump.

"We put our hopes in the east, west, north, south of our country and never have hope in Vienna and New York," Raisi said in a televised speech commemorating the revolution

READ MORE: The history of US-Iran tensions, explained

Pandemic restrictions

It was the second year where celebrations were largely limited to vehicles due to the pandemic. 

Authorities say the aggressive omicron variant is now dominant in the country, and hospitals have been urged to prepare for a new wave of infections.

With more than 130,000 total deaths according to official numbers, Iran has the highest national death toll in the Middle East. 

It says it has vaccinated some 80 percent of its population above age 18 with two shots, although only 27 percent of that group has had a third shot.

READ MORE: Rouhani urges Iranians to vote as country marks 1979 revolution

Source: TRTWorld and agencies