Iran displays missile on anniversary of U.S. embassy takeover

06 November, 2017, 02:09 | Author: Chad Mckenzie
  • Iranians storm US Embassy, Nov. 4, 1979

On November 4, 1979, and in less than a year after the victory of the Islamic Revolution that toppled a US-backed monarchy, Iranian university students who called themselves "students following the line of (the late) Imam (Khomeini)" seized the United States embassy in Tehran, which had become a center of espionage and planning to overthrow the newly established Islamic system in Iran.

Thousands gathered on the campus of the former embassy, called a "den of espionage", where a ballistic missile was displayed.

In 1979, hundreds of Iranian militant students took 52 Americans hostage at the embassy for 444 days to protest Washington's refusal to hand over the Western-backed shah, who was deposed in the 1979 Islamic Revolution.

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In the capital city of Tehran, the rallies to mark the anniversary of the landmark move are held at the venue of the former United States embassy, which is known by Iranians as "Den of Espionage". It appeared to be an effort by Iranian authorities to contrast its missile programme against those of countries like North Korea, which now uses its arsenal to threaten the United States.

Iran has paraded its missile capability in recent months in a show of defiance to Trump, whose administration has said Tehran's development of ballistic missiles violates the spirit of the nuclear agreement signed in 2015.

Tighter security was handled by Iranian police and the hard-line Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps. State TV said similar celebrations were being held in other Iranian cities and towns.

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In an address to the Saturday rally in Tehran, Secretary of Iran's Supreme National Security Council (SNSC) Ali Shamkhani said that the US's foreign policy had failed.

Demonstrators, mostly students, waved flags and signs, some which read "Stop Terrorism" and "Shut up Trump", to show their discontent toward the hardline stance taken by the USA government.

Supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei urged Iranians on Thursday to never forget that "America is the enemy".

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Though U.S. diplomats and Central Intelligence Agency officers shredded thousands of documents before the students entered the building, the Iranian researchers spent years piecing each paper slice back together.

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