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Iran Marks 40th Anniversary of US Embassy Takeover
Iranian women display religious symbols written on the palms of their hands under a placard bearing anti-US slogans, during a demonstration outside the former US Embassy in the Iranian capital Tehran on November 4, 2019, to mark the 40th anniversary of the Iran hostage crisis. (ATTA KENARE/AFP via Getty Images)

Iran Marks 40th Anniversary of US Embassy Takeover

Demonstrators chanted anti-American and anti-Israel slogans in Tehran and about 1,000 other locations across Iran on Monday to mark the 40th anniversary of the storming of the US Embassy after the 1979 Islamic revolution that brought the Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini to power. Islamist students seized the embassy after the fall of Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi and held 52 Americans hostage there for 444 days, only releasing them after US President Jimmy Carter left office in January 1981. Today’s mass protests come just one day after Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei renewed his country’s ban on talks with the US. The ban is a response to US President Donald Trump’s reimposition of crippling economic sanctions against Iran after pulling the US out of the 2015 nuclear deal between the Islamic Republic and the “P5+1” countries – China, France, Russia, the UK and the US plus Germany. Meanwhile, Iran’s allies in Iraq and Lebanon themselves face mass protests. In the Shiite holy city of Karbala, Iraq, security forces killed three protesters as they dispersed dozens who attacked the Iranian Consulate with Molotov cocktails, climbing the walls around the building, burning tires, throwing stones, and replacing the Iranian flag with the Iraqi flag.

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