[QODLink]
Middle East

Iranians cry 'death to America' in huge rally

Tens of thousands rally outside old US embassy site in Tehran to mark the 34th anniversary of the US embassy siege.

Last Modified: 04 Nov 2013 14:35
Email Article
Print Article
Share article
Send Feedback

Tens of thousands of demonstrators packed the streets outside the former US embassy in Tehran in the biggest anti-US rally in years, a show of support for hard-line opponents of President Hassan Rouhani's outreach to Washington.

Crowds of Iranians shouted "death to America" as they marked the 34th anniversary of the takeover of the city's US embassy, which led to 52 Americans being held hostage for months.

Protesters waved anti-US banners, chanting "death to America" and "death to Israel", while burning US and Israeli flags. Effigies of the US president, Barack Obama, his secretary of state John Kerry and the Israeli prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, could be seen held aloft by protesters.

The protests were reported to be the biggest in years, with tens of thousands in attendance, and despite attempts by the US and Iran to thaw diplomatic relations after years of hostility.

Great Satan

Al Jazeera's Soraya Lennie, reporting from Tehran, said that the the opinion that the US was the "Great Satan" was hard to shift in some.

"A poll recently in Iran showed that most Iranians do favour renewed relations with the United States and a normalisation of ties, she said.

"But for the people here, and this small minority in Iran, their minds will not be changed. They still see the United States as the "Great Satan" and it appears as not much happening, diplomatically-speaking, that can change their minds."

Similar gatherings were reported in other cities across the Islamic republic, according to footage broadcast on state television, in what appeared to be some of the largest November 4 rallies in years.

Ties cut

The storming of the embassy on November 4, 1979 led to 52 Americans being held for 444 days, and to the severance of diplomatic ties with Washington and decades of hostility.

However, both states are attempting to renew their diplomatic efforts after the election of Rouhani, seen by many in the US as a moderate successor to Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

On September 27, the US president, Barack Obama, spoke to Rouhani by telephone in the first direct talks between a US and Iranian leader since 1979.

350

Source:
Al Jazeera
Email Article
Print Article
Share article
Send Feedback
Topics in this article
People
Country
City
Organisation
Featured on Al Jazeera
Muslim volunteers face questioning and threat of arrest, while aid has been disrupted or blocked, charities say.
Six months on, outrage and sorrow over the mass schoolgirl abduction has disappeared - except for families in Nigeria.
ISIL combatants seeking an 'exit strategy' from Mideast conflict need positive reinforcement back home, analysts say.
European nation hit by a wave of Islamophobia as many young fighters join ISIL in Syria and Iraq.
Featured
Lacking cohesive local ground forces to attack in tandem, coalition air strikes will have limited effect, experts say.
Hindu right-wing groups run campaign against what they say is Muslim conspiracy to convert Hindu girls into Islam.
Six months on, outrage and sorrow over the mass schoolgirl abduction has disappeared - except for families in Nigeria.
Muslim caretakers maintain three synagogues in eastern Indian city, which was once home to a thriving Jewish community.
Amid fresh ISIL gains, officials in Anbar province have urged the Iraqi government to request foreign ground troops.