Middle East

Iran Guards to keep 'Death to America' chant

Revolutionary Guards say the slogan will remain regardless of signs of rapprochement between Iran and the US.

Last Modified: 02 Nov 2013 17:32
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Iran will hold a ceremony on November 4 to mark the 34th anniversary of the seizure of the US embassy [AP]

Iran's military branch has said anti-US slogan "Death to America" will remain their chant despite positive steps taken by the Iranian president towards Washington.

The Revolutionary Guards published a statement on its sepahnews.com website on Saturday, saying the slogan was the manifestation of the Iranian nation's determination and resistance against "the dominance of oppressive and untrustworthy America."

"The revolutionary hatred of Iranians will be manifested nationwide with slogans of Death to America on Monday", the Guards said.

Monday will fall on November 4, the date the country will hold a ceremony to mark the 34th anniversary of the seizure of the US embassy in Tehran by students who captured and held 52 US diplomats hostage for 444 days.

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

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.

Positive steps towards Washington

Iranians are 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.

Iran's new president Hassan Rouhani, who has pledged to improve ties with the West, held a historic telephone conversation with US President Barack Obama last month on the sidelines of the UN 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 Rouhani's overtures, but criticised some aspects of his UN visit as "inappropriate".

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


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