‘Death to America’ concert at site of former U.S. embassy in Tehran

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A group of Iranian hardliners organized Tuesday a concert at the site of former U.S. embassy in Tehran chanting “death to America” to mark the anniversary of the 1979 seizure of the U.S. embassy staff.

Iran’s elite Revolutionary Guards had said that “Death to America” will remain their slogan, regardless of signs of detente between the Islamic republic and United States.

“Death to America is the manifestation of our nation’s determination and resistance against the dominance of oppressive and untrustworthy America,” it said on its sepahnews.com website.

“The revolutionary hatred of Iranians will be manifested nationwide with slogans of ‘Death to America’ ” the Guards said.

November 4 is the 34th anniversary of the seizure of the U.S. embassy in Tehran, during which Islamist students captured and held 52 U.S. diplomats hostage for 444 days.

The crisis triggered a cut in diplomatic relations and led to decades of mutual hostility.

“American espionage against governments and people in different countries is proof that leaders of the White House cannot be trusted,” the Guards said, referring to a row between Europe and Washington over alleged U.S. spying on its allies.

Iran’s new president Rowhani, who has pledged to improve ties with the West, held a historic telephone conversation with U.S. President Barack Obama last month on the sidelines of the U.N. General Assembly.

It was the first direct contact between leaders of the two countries in more than three decades.

Iran’s supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei has backed Rowhani’s overtures but criticized some aspects of his U.N. visit as “inappropriate.”

Iranians are also split over whether it is still appropriate to chant “Death to America” -- one of the main slogans of the 1979 Islamic revolution -- at official ceremonies.

Last week, Tehran municipality removed anti-American posters from the streets of the capital.

Conservatives have said Monday’s ceremony to mark the seizure of the US embassy will be held on a larger scale than previous years, in response to gestures of rapprochement with the West.

(With AFP)