US ‘maintaining Iranian embassy for the Iranian people’ until ties restored
The US State Department released a video showing what it called a well-looked after Iranian embassy in Washington and sending a message to the Iranian people that all the items at the location are being maintained once diplomatic ties are restored.
The Trump administration’s special representative for Iran, Brian Hook, is shown in the highly-produced video strolling past the embassy. He said that the US has been caring for the embassy’s security, maintenance and landscaping for the past 40 years.
“Even the Persian rugs and artwork that were once here are still preserved in temperature-controlled storage facilities to give back to the Iranian people once our diplomatic ties are restored,” the US special representative for Iran said.
“I wish I could say the same for the government in Tehran,” Hook added as the video pivots to a black and white photo showing a blindfolded man and three Iranian abductors, supposedly from the Iran hostage crisis.
Special Rep. Brian Hook: The U.S. has taken good care of #Iran’s embassy in Washington, hoping that one day we can return the keys back to an Iranian government that cares more about its people and less about its destructive revolutionary ideology. A brighter future is possible. pic.twitter.com/ZQigAhjuss— Department of State (@StateDept) February 19, 2019
The State Department has also been circulating the video on social media in Farsi to directly target Iranian audiences.
“The people of Iran will not achieve their enormous potential so long as the regime pursues its current course of oppression, economic mismanagement, environmental destruction and violent misadventures abroad,” Hook said.
During the hostage crisis at Washington’s US embassy in 1979, Iranian students had famously demanded that the US repent in return for the release of diplomats. The following year, the two countries cut diplomatic ties, and they have remained estranged ever since.
In the latest State Department video, Hook said that the “Iranian government should behave less like a revolutionary cause and more like a normal country.”
“Our hope is that the regime will choose to end its policies that threaten the United States and our partners in the Middle East,” he added.
US President Donald Trump’s administration announced last year its withdrawal from the 2015 Iran nuclear deal and has since re-imposed all US sanctions on Tehran. The sanctions, which had been suspended under the P5+1 deal, cover Iran’s shipping, financial and energy sectors.