Thousands of Iranians have attended the government-organized commemorations of the 1979 seizure of the U.S. Embassy in Tehran, chanting “Death to America” and “Death to Israel,” and burning U.S. and Israeli flags.

The embassy takeover sparked a 444-day hostage crisis and a break in diplomatic relations between the two countries that continues today.

State television on November 4 said that 800 cities across Iran staged demonstrations. Last year, the authorities canceled the event due to the coronavirus pandemic.

General Hossein Salami, the commander of the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC), delivered a speech to the crowds in Tehran condemning what he called the U.S. aggression in the region over the past decades. A large U.S. flag was spread on the street so protesters could stomp on it.

The commemoration marks the events on November 4, 1979, when hard-line Iranian student demonstrators overran guards and pushed into the embassy compound, enraged that U.S. President Jimmy Carter had allowed Iran’s exiled and fatally ill Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi to receive cancer treatment in the United States.

The November 4 commemorations across Iran came a day after the European Union, Iran, and the United States announced that indirect talks to resuscitate the landmark 2015 nuclear deal between world powers and the Islamic republic would resume on November 29 in Vienna after months of hiatus.

In comments broadcast on state TV, ultraconservative President Ebrahim Raisi reiterated that Iran wants “result-oriented” nuclear talks and would “stand against excessive demands which could damage our nation’s interests.”

Former U.S. President Donald Trump withdrew from the landmark accord in 2018 and imposed crushing sanctions.

Trump’s successor, Joe Biden, who took office in January, has pledged to rejoin the deal if Iran returns to full compliance. But talks that resumed in April in Vienna were halted after Raisi’s election in June.

Source » rferl