Iran parades missile during anniversary of US Embassy takeover

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File: The Iranian flag. Photo by: Blondinrikard Fröberg / CC BY 2.0

TEHRAN, Iran – Commemorating the 38th anniversary of the US Embassy takeover Saturday Iran chose to display a missile as thousands of demonstrators gathered in Tehran to mark the event that triggered the hostage crisis and sparked the decades-old rift in US-Iranian relations.

On November 4, 1979, Iranian student revolutionaries climbed over the walls of the US Embassy in Tehran and seized dozens of Americans, holding them hostage for 444 days.

The former embassy compound is known locally as the “den of espionage,” and protests take place in front of it annually.

One of Iran’s most powerful missiles, the Qadr, was prominently featured Saturday, along with anti-US and anti-Israel signs and chanting.

The medium-range missile is liquid-fueled, with a range of 2,000 kilometers (1,243 miles), according to the semiofficial Fars News agency, which says it can reach as far as Israel.

“The new version of Qadr H can be launched from mobile platforms or silos in different positions and can escape missile defense shields due to their radar-evading capability,” Fars reported.

Crowds chanted slogans condemning Washington’s policies toward Iran and shouted “Down With the US.”

The US-Iranian relationship has grown even more strained in recent months, especially after President Donald Trump publicly renounced the Iran nuclear deal in October, refusing to recertify the 2015 multilateral agreement in an effort to initiate tougher and more wide-ranging restrictions on Tehran.

‘The US has long been dealt blows’

Ali Shamkhani, secretary of Iran’s Supreme National Security Council, was critical of Trump at a rally Saturday.

“The US has long been dealt blows by our country and our region and thus regularly bares its warmongering teeth,” Shamkhani said, according to state-run Press TV.

“And when a missile is tested thousands of kilometers away, after (issuing empty) threats, all their president does is put out a tweet,” he said in an apparent reference to North Korea’s missile tests.

Shamkhani said the United States is rethinking the election of Trump.

“American politicians and people are having second thoughts about their choice of president and acknowledge that the US has been defeated in materializing its foreign policy,” Shamkhani said.

Iran’s Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, said this week that Iran must resist the United States.

“Giving in to the US will make it impudent; the only way is to resist,” Khamenei said.

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