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Iranians mark US embassy siege anniversary

Updated: 2013-11-04 18:28
( Xinhua)

TEHRAN - Tens of thousands of Iranians held demonstrations on Monday across the country to mark the 34th anniversary of the seizure of the US embassy in Tehran.

Since the 1979 takeover of the US embassy in Tehran by Iranian students, 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".  

The occasion this year has attracted the attention of the world since it coincides with the attempts inside and outside the country to ease tensions between the two states that were allies before the Islamic revolution in 1979.

On September 27, Iran's President Hassan Rouhani held a ground-breaking direct telephone conversation with President Barack Obama upon leaving New York. The first talk between the two countries' presidents after more than 30 years signalled the thaw of the relations which would affect the ongoing negotiations over the disputed nuclear program of the Islamic republic.

However, hardliners in Iran are pushing to heighten anti-US sentiments and keep anger high by insisting on the slogan of "Death to America" in different gatherings. They have criticized Rouhani for reaching out to the United States and the West to solve the country's nuclear issue and to alleviate the sanction pressures.

On Monday, the demonstrators gathered outside the former US embassy in central Tehran, now called "den of espionage", carrying placards expressing their hatred of the "arrogant powers" and shouting anti-US and anti-Israel slogans. "The Iranians will never forget the US crimes" was written on slips of papers carried by the student demonstrators.  

On the walls of the embassy, new placards and banners were installed bearing the slogans which unanimously condemned "the US hostile policies" against Iran.    

The US embassy was stormed by Iranian students 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.