Iranians mark anniversary of US embassy seizure

Tehran, Nov 3 (IANS) Thousands of Iranians held nationwide demonstrations on Thursday to mark the 37th anniversary of the 1979 seizure of the US embassy in Tehran.

Iranians have been celebrating the occasion every year by holding rallies on the anniversary and marking it as the “National Day against the Global Arrogance”, Xinhua news agency reported.

Demonstrators gathered outside the former US embassy in central Tehran, now called “den of espionage”, carrying placards denouncing the “arrogant powers” and shouting anti-US and anti-Israel slogans.

In 2013, the election of Hassan Rouhani as the Iranian president signalled the thaw in relations with the US, but observers say hardliners in Iran are pushing to heighten anti-US sentiments by insisting on the slogan of “Death to America” at different gatherings, criticising Rouhani for reaching out to Washington and the West in general to solve the country’s nuclear issue and economic problems.

On Wednesday, Iran’s top leader Ali Khamenei ruled out the possibility of restoring ties with the US, saying that compromise and negotiations with Washington will not solve regional and domestic problems of Iran.

The US embassy was stormed on November 4, 1979, and its personnel were held hostage for 444 days. The US broke off diplomatic relations with Iran in 1980 and their ties have remained severed ever since.