Iranians celebrate at former U.S. embassy, 37 years seizing it, taking 52 hostages

by WorldTribune Staff, November 4, 2016

Iranians burned U.S. and Israeli flags and chanted “death to America” and “death to Israel” on Nov. 3 to mark the anniversary of the 1979 seizure of the U.S. Embassy in Teheran.

An Iranian youth burns home-made American flag outside the former U.S. embassy Teheran on Nov. 3. /AFP
An Iranian youth burns a home-made American flag outside the former U.S. embassy in Teheran on Nov. 3. /AFP

Supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei has said he agrees with the “death to America” chants, claiming the goal of the United States is “to put the people against the system.”

On Nov. 4, 1979, Iranian students stormed the U.S. Embassy, taking 52 Americans hostage for 444 days after Washington refused to hand over Iran’s deposed shah, Mohammad Reza Pahlavi, for trial in Iran.

The two countries have had no diplomatic relations since then though they engaged in direct contact before the signing of the nuclear deal.

The regular appearance of chanting anti-American crowds is cited as evidence of Teheran’s true intentions with regards to the U.S., but Iranian President Hassan Rouhani last year urged Americans not to take the “death to America” chants personally.

“This slogan that is chanted is not a slogan against the American people. Our people respect the American people,” he insisted in a September 2015 interview on 60 Minutes, adding, “the Iranian people are not looking for war with any country.”

Despite those comments, Rouhani has personally presided over “death to America” chants in Iran.