Iran marks 1979 hostage crisis anniversary

Posted November 06, 2017

Thousands of Iranian demonstrators have taken to Taleghani Avenue, the street facing the former USA embassy in Tehran, to mark their National Day of Fight Against Global Arrogance.

After Iranian students seized the US embassy in Tehran in 1979, they spent years painstakingly reassembling the intelligence reports shredded by the CIA officers who were some of the last workers captured, according to the BBC.

Iran also displayed a 2000 km-range ballistic missile during the march.

Soon after the 1979 revolution, when hard-line students seized the embassy and took 52 Americans hostage for 444 days, Iran and the United States severed diplomatic relations.

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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.

This year, amid strained relations between Tehran and Washington over the nuclear deal and belligerent rhetoric from US President Donald Trump, the traditional display of military strength has taken on added significance.

The increasing tension between Iran and the West reached a peak last week when the US House of Representatives voted almost unanimously to impose new sanctions on Iran for its development of ballistic missiles. State TV said similar celebrations were being held in other Iranian cities and towns.

The US Congress must now make a decision regarding the nuclear deal, which saw Iran agree to limit its enrichment of uranium in exchange for the lifting of economic sanctions.

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The anniversary has become a day of Iranian nationalism.

Mr Shamkhani, alluding to Mr Trump's threats against North Korea, said even U.S. allies know that Mr Trump "has no power to realise his bluffs, against Iran, too".

The former United States embassy in Tehran is now a cultural centre but stands as a symbol of a U.S. defeat for many Iranians.

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. Many Iranians call it the "den of spies".

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