Anti-US protesters chant ‘Death to America’ on Tehran embassy anniversary

Video of demonstrations in several cities last week shows crowds chanting ‘death to America’ in support of 1979 hostage crisis Anti-US demonstrators have chanted “Death to America” as they mark the anniversary of the…

Anti-US protesters chant 'Death to America' on Tehran embassy anniversary

Video of demonstrations in several cities last week shows crowds chanting ‘death to America’ in support of 1979 hostage crisis

Anti-US demonstrators have chanted “Death to America” as they mark the anniversary of the 1979 U.S. embassy takeover in Tehran.

Hundreds gathered in numerous cities in Iran to watch a televised ceremony marking the anniversary of the start of the attack by students that ended with the seizure of the U.S. embassy. The embassy was located in the heart of the capital. The late Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, founder of the Islamic Republic, called the embassy seizure “the nation’s greatest victory”.

One video shows demonstrators shouting “Death to America” and carrying portraits of Khomeini and Iran’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.

The Iranian president, Hassan Rouhani, said at the ceremony that the 1979 hostage crisis was not a domestic policy issue for Iran.

“We recognise that a complex, complex and different historical situation was created and lasted for long periods during the Islamic Revolution,” Rouhani said. “This crisis, which caused many losses to our homeland, has not become a national issue in our country’s mentality.”

Activists inside Iran have demanded that the government carry out reforms to curb lavish spending on prestige projects by the supreme leader and abandon policies that they say alienate it from the people.

Watching the ceremony was President Donald Trump’s foreign policy adviser, Max Boot, who in a tweet hailed it as an opportunity to show respect for the “Farsi language and culture”.

The embassy takeover was the culmination of a wave of uprisings across the Middle East that led to the collapse of the Shah, who had been a US ally in the wake of the victory of the Islamist militant revolution in Egypt in 1952. Washington’s mistrust of Iran rose during the eight-year Iran-Iraq war that followed and only thawed during the presidency of George W Bush.

Trump has refused to accept a deal in 2015 between Iran and world powers designed to restrict its nuclear programme in return for the lifting of international sanctions. He has regularly criticised what he has called the “horrible deal”.

The Islamic Republic says its nuclear activities are solely for peaceful purposes and that it has rejected a request from the International Atomic Energy Agency to provide more information on past nuclear activities that have sparked suspicions in the West that it may have worked on designing an atomic bomb.

Khamenei has ruled out the possibility of giving up uranium enrichment, a capability that Israel regards as a national security concern.

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