Iranians have held rallies across the country to mark the anniversary of the 1979 takeover of the US embassy in Tehran.
Demonstrators in Tehran gathered on Sunday outside the former US diplomatic mission, also known as the “Den of Espionage,” chanting slogans against the United States.
Similar rallies were held in more than 1,000 cities and towns across the vast country, with participants chanting “Death to the US”, “Death to Israel”, and “Hayhat minna az-zilla” (Never to Humiliation).
On November 4, 1979, a group of university students took over the embassy, which they believed had turned into a center of espionage, plotting to overthrow the nascent Islamic Republic, and held 52 American diplomats for 444 days.
Documents found at the mission corroborated claims by the revolutionary students that Washington had been using the compound to hatch plots against Iran.
The late founder of the Islamic Republic, Imam Khomeini, hailed the takeover as a “second revolution” after the 1979 Islamic Revolution toppled the Shah of Iran, who was a close ally of the US in Iran.
Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei said on Saturday the US has been trying for the past 40 years to regain the domination it had over Iran under the Shah but to no avail.
“There is an important fact here, that in this 40-year-old challenge, the American side has been defeated and the side of the Islamic Republic has been victorious,” he said, addressing a group of students in Tehran.
This year’s rallies come after the US administration decided on Friday to reimpose all sanctions lifted under the 2015 nuclear deal with Iran.
“America’s goal with sanctions is to cripple and hold back Iran’s economy, but the outcome is that the push toward self-sufficiency has expanded in the country,” Ayatollah Khamenei said.
The chief commander of Iran’s Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) addressed the rally in Tehran, saying the nation will defeat US sanctions through resistance.
General Mohammad Ali Jafari said the US is now “on a gradual decline.” He said resistance is the only way to overcome oppressive enemies, adding “with God’s assistance the Iranian nation will soon overcome economic sanctions.”
General Jafari also advised US President Donald Trump not to threaten Iran. “You know well how many of your war veterans commit suicide a day due to depression,” he said.
November 4, which falls on the 13th day of the Iranian calendar month of Aban, is also known as the Student Day and the National Day of the Fight against Global Arrogance.
The Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) issued a statement on Saturday, saying the Iranian nation will give President Donald Trump a “slap in the face” through their participation in nationwide rallies to mark the embassy takeover.
The IRGC echoed Ayatollah Khamenei’s observation that “America’s power is in decline and the country is much weaker today than it was 40 years ago.”
“The decline of the US is a definite, inevitable reality consistent with a divine promise,” the IRGC statement said.
The 13th of Aban, the statement said, is “the symbol of the Iranian nation’s fight against the arrogance and its invincibility in the face of the US and the evil arrogant movement in contemporary history.”
“With the blessing of God and the insight and vigilance of the Iranian nation, the 13th of Aban this year will turn into a show of national prowess and unity, the humiliation of the Great Satan, the condemnation of the hegemonic nature of the notorious US regime and the Iranian nation’s slap in the face of the deceitful US president and officials,” it added.