Middle East/North Africa

Iranians mark anniversary of US Embassy seizure

AP/Vahid Salemi

Iranians gathered on Thursday to mark the 42nd anniversary of the seizure of the U.S. embassy in Tehran that sparked a breakdown in diplomatic relations between the two countries.

Many protestors chanted anti-U.S. slogans like “death to America” and “death to Israel” while burning flags of both countries, The Associated Press reports.

Protestors marched over an American flag laid on the street at the government-organized commemoration. They also displayed an effigy of President Biden with red drops of paint dripping from his mouth and wearing a T-shirt embellished with the Star of David, the AP added.

Iranian state television also said that 800 cities across Iran staged demonstrations. 

Gen. Hossein Salami, chief of the paramilitary Revolutionary Guard, criticized the United States as a “dictator-making factory” and said that “children of this nation (Iran) will stand bravely against any power that wants to damage their interests,” according to the AP.

More than four decades ago, 66 Americans were taken hostage to protest the U.S. administration’s decision to welcome the deposed Iranian monarch Mohammad Reza Pahlavi. Fifty-four Americans remained in captivity in Iran for 444 days.

News of the protests comes just a day after the U.S. announced a plan to restart international discussions with Iran on Nov. 29 to return to the Obama-era nuclear deal.

The announcement marks important progress on resuming discussions between Washington and Tehran after previous negotiations fell apart in June.

However, Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi, speaking at an event marking the 1979 takeover of the U.S. embassy, said, “we will not walk away from the negotiating table, but we will also oppose any excessive demands that would end up harming the interests of the Iranian people,” AFP reports

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