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Iran marks U.S. embassy anniversary

Iranians bask in anti-American feeling as they observe 1979 takeover by student activists.


TEHRAN, Iran — In an annual rite of anti-Americanism in Iran, thousands gathered Thursday at the site of the former U.S. Embassy in Tehran to mark the anniversary of its takeover by student activists in 1979.


The demonstrators brought by buses to the former embassy complex included young and old, university students, military staff and employees of state-run companies who voiced opposition to the nuclear deal Iran signed with the United States and world powers.


Many echoed Iran’s Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, who has intensified his rhetoric against the United States in recent days despite Iran’s agreement to shelve its uranium enrichment program, which Western countries had worried could lead to a nuclear weapon.


Almost 1 in every 10 demonstrators at the former embassy — now widely dubbed a “den of espionage” — carried placards with Khamenei’s words: “We do not trust America.”


On Wednesday, Khamenei repeated his criticism that the United States has reneged on the nuclear deal. The U.S. government has lifted some sanctions against Iran under the deal but kept in place certain non-nuclear restrictions that continue to hamper Iran’s economy.


“Americans have not honored their promises related to the nuclear deal, and Iranians should rely on their own domestic potential,” Khamenei said in remarks that were aired on state television.


At the rally Thursday, Hossain Salami, the acting commander of the elite Revolutionary Guards, said: “America should know that if they do not honor their agreement in the nuclear deal, we will resume uranium enrichment and send the agreement … to the museum.”


Read about the rest of the event here.