The Ethos of US Embassy Takeover


Rallies Held Throughout Iran to Mark US Embassy Takeover

TEHRAN (FNA)- Iranians in different cities across the country took part in massive rallies chanting “Death to US” to mark the anniversary of the US embassy takeover in 1979.

Tens of thousands of Iranians from all walks of life, including school and university students, took to the streets to commemorate the National Day of Campaign against Global Arrogance and the National Student Day in massive rallies on Tuesday.

Participants in the annual rally in front of the former US embassy in Tehran known by the Iranians as “the den of spies” vowed to follow the path of late Founder of the Islamic Republic Imam Khomeini and renewed allegiance to the Supreme Leader of the Islamic Revolution, Ayatollah Seyed Ali Khamenei.

The demonstrators also condemned the US-led western sanctions against Iran, and stressed that the United States is the main enemy of the Iranian nation.

Since the 1979 takeover of the US embassy in Tehran, 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’.

November 4 marks three important events in Iranian history: the takeover of the former US embassy in Tehran by Muslim students following the Imam’s line in 1979 and the exile of Imam Khomeini by the Shah in 1964. It also marks the massacre of a large number of Iranian school students by the army of the former Pahlavi regime during the 1979 Islamic Revolution.

Iranian university students took over the US embassy building to thwart what they called Washington’s plots against the Islamic Revolution.

Inside the embassy, the students found shredded documents which proved their convictions.

The Ethos of US Embassy Takeover

TEHRAN (FNA)- Every year on November 4, Iranians from all walks of life hold nationwide rallies to mark the anniversary of the 1979 takeover of the United States Embassy in Tehran by a group of students.

The students believed the US Embassy had turned into a “den of espionage” to overthrow the nascent Islamic Republic establishment. Documents found later at the compound corroborated their claims.

Subsequently, 52 US Embassy personnel were held in Iran for 444 days. They were released the day after the signing of the Algiers Accords, just minutes after the new president, Ronald Reagan, was sworn into office.

On April 7, 1980, the two sides broke diplomatic ties, and on January 20, 1981, signed the Algiers Accords. Among its provisions, it was stated that the US would not interfere in Iranian internal affairs; the US would remove a freeze on Iranian assets and trade sanctions; and Iranian debts to US institutions would be paid.

Washington never implemented the provisions. Quite the opposite, the Congress did (and continues to) ratify bills for the so-called regime change in Iran, while raising the stakes with sanctions and beating the drums of war. It’s the reason why after all these years Supreme Leader Ayatollah Seyed Ali Khamenei maintains: “Tehran doesn’t trust Washington and sees no benefit in resumption of ties.”

It is worth considering several more reasons why Tehran bears such animus toward Washington:

The Coup & the Shah

Iran’s 1979 Islamic Revolution overthrew a monarch despised for his corruption and political repression. The Shah was a US puppet, thanks in part to his installation by a 1953 coup, the handiwork of the CIA. In what may have been a gesture of contrition, the CIA finally admitted to its role on the coup’s 60th anniversary. But all is not yet forgiven in Tehran.

Iraq & Chemical Weapons

When Iran fought an imposed war against Iraq (1980-88), it was also fighting a shadow enemy: the US. Its dictator Saddam was sustained for much of the war by arms, money and intelligence assistance that flowed from the US and allies. The US even aided Saddam’s repeated large-scale chemical attacks on Iranian forces.

Iran Air 655

In 1988, the USS Vincennes shot down Iran Air flight 655 over the Persian Gulf. The US warship fired two missiles that destroyed the plane, killing 274 passengers and 16 crew. The US never admitted responsibility or apologized.

The Axis of Evil

In 1990s, Iran and the US made efforts at a diplomatic thaw. After the 9/11 attacks in 2001, the two countries cooperated against the Taliban in Afghanistan. But in his 2002 State of the Union address, then President George W. Bush described Iran as a member (along with Iraq and North Korea) of “axis of evil” that threatened the civilized world! The line surprised and outraged Tehran.

Throughout these years, Washington has pursued its anti-Iran policy by derailing international organizations as well, such as the International Atomic Energy Agency, the UN Security Council, the UN Human Rights Council, and the European Union, among others.

For example, instead of encouraging and facilitating diplomacy, these institutions opted, and continue to opt, for a disproportionate and aggressive approach that solely revolves around sanctions – without establishing how Iran’s civilian nuclear energy program constitutes a “threat to global peace and security,” as international law requires.

It would seem that’s all, but it’s not. There are other issues as well, mainly: The US-Israeli-sponsored assassination of Iranian nuclear scientists; the US-led attempts to sabotage Iran’s nuclear facilities; the Iranophobia campaign in the Western media; and the terrorist group of ISIL, which has been created by the US and partners to disintegrate Iraq and Syria – Iran’s closest allies.

Against this background, it is understandable that Tehran is quite hesitant about the results of its nuclear talks with Washington. Tehran has legitimate questions that need to be addressed before it could even start contemplating about trusting Washington ever again.