Prices of basic foodstuffs have soared since President Donald Trump withdrew Washington from the 2015 nuclear deal in May 2019.
"We have not asked and will not ask for permission to develop different types of. missiles, and will continue our path and our military power", President Hassan Rouhani said in a speech at Tehran's Azadi (Freedom) Square.
Iran displayed its ballistic missile capabilities during a parade, including the Zolfaqar, a ground-to-ground missile with a 700 km (435 miles) range and the Qiam, with a range of 800 km, according to Tasnim news agency.
In a speech marking the 40th anniversary of the Islamic Revolution in Tehran, Rouhani said: "47 years ago, which is seven years before the Islamic Revolution during the reign of the traitor Pahlavi regime, an important part of southern Iran separated, and we have read that geographically it was a part of Iran, and its 14th province".
Rouhani pledged to pursue Iran's missile programme to defend the country from external threats.
Iranians are facing mounting economic hardships which many blame on the country's clerical leaders.
U.S. President Donald Trump pulled out of Iran's 2015 nuclear deal with world powers past year and re-imposed sanctions on Tehran, dealing a blow to the country's economy.
President Hassan Rohani blasted a USA "conspiracy" against Iran as the country marked the 40th anniversary of the 1979 Islamic revolution that ended the monarchy and heralded the start of four decades of clerical rule. But he remained defiant as Iranians recalled the end of a monarch who catered to the rich and unleashed secret police on dissenters. "Iranian people have and will have some economic difficulties but we will overcome the problems by helping each other".
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"The United States does not have the courage to shoot a single bullet at us despite all its defensive and military assets".
"The US should know that we would raze Tel Aviv and Haifa to the ground in the event of a military attack on us", General Yadollah Javani, head of the guard's political bureau, was quoted as saying.
"If this regime makes the mistake of threatening us and tries to destroy Tel Aviv or Haifa, they won't succeed, and it will be the last anniversary of the revolution that they celebrate".
An anchor on state television warned of hostile foreign media trying to downplay the participation of Iranians in the march but expressed confidence that "they would be confounded by the unprecedented level of attendance". "They should take this into account".
Regional power Saudi Arabia and other Arab countries have viewed Iran with great suspicion since the Islamic Revolution swept the Shah from power, fearing Khomeini would inspire Islamic militants across the region.
"At the revolution's 40 anniversary we are on top of scientific achievements like nanotechnology or accurate missiles", he said.
A senior commander in Iran's Revolutionary Guards said Tehran would not withdraw forces from the region, dismissing US calls for Iranian clout to be curbed.