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Hardliners chant 'Death to America' on Iran hostage crisis anniversary
Monday, November 4th, 2013

Thousands of Iranians chanted "Death to America" on the anniversary on Monday of the 1979 seizure of the US Embassy in a jab at moderate President Hassan Rouhani as he tries to ease tension with Washington and resolve the nuclear dispute.

The rally outside the former embassy complex is an annual rite in Iran but took on extra resonance this year as a barometer of hardline conservative opposition to Rouhani's diplomatic opening to the West after eight years of increasing confrontation under predecessor Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

Large crowds gathered around the embassy building dubbed the "nest of spies" in the local press, holding up anti-US placards and shouting "Death to America," a standard refrain since the 1979 Islamic Revolution.

Footage broadcast live on state television showed what appeared to be a crowd of several thousand and the walls of the embassy compound plastered with large posters intent on showing supposed deceptions of the United States.

The 1979 siege began when, ten months after the fall of the US-allied shah, radical students stormed the embassy, taking hostage 52 staff for an eventual 444 days. There have been no US-Iranian diplomatic relations since.

- Agence France-Presse

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Iranians burn US flags outside the former US embassy in Tehran on November 4, 2013, during a demonstration to mark the 34th anniversary of the 1979 US embassy takeover. Thousands of Iranians shouted "Death to America" as they demonstrated 34 years after Islamist students stormed the embassy compound in Tehran, holding 52 American diplomats hostage for 444 days.

(- - AFP/Getty Images)
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Iranians tear apart a US flag outside the former US embassy in Tehran on November 4, 2013, during a demonstration to mark the 34th anniversary of the 1979 US embassy takeover.

(BEHROUZ MEHRI - AFP/Getty Images)
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An Iranian woman steps on a US flag outside the former US embassy in Tehran on November 4, 2013, during a demonstration to mark the 34th anniversary of the 1979 US embassy takeover.

(BEHROUZ MEHRI - AFP/Getty Images)
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Iranians walk past an anti-US slogan on the wall of former US embassy in Tehran on November 4, 2013, during a demonstration to mark the 34th anniversary of the 1979 US embassy takeover.

(BEHROUZ MEHRI - AFP/Getty Images)
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Iranian schoolgirls show their palms with anti-US slogans outside the former US diplomatic mission in Tehran during a demonstration on November 4, 2013 to mark the 34th anniversary of the 1979 US embassy takeover.

(BEHROUZ MEHRI - AFP/Getty Images)
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Iranians stand under an anti-US poster bearing a picture of US President Barak Obama with a UN logo around his neck, holding a gun with a slogan which reads in Farsi "A smile for killing" outside former US embassy in Tehran on November 4, 2013, during a demonstration to mark the 34th anniversary of the 1979 US embassy takeover.

(BEHROUZ MEHRI - AFP/Getty Images)
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An Iranian man holds an anti-US poster depicting a US negotiator with a gun sitting with an Iranian negotiator next to the former US embassy wall as he makes a human chain with Iran's national flag on November 4, 2013, during a demonstration to mark the 34th anniversary of the 1979 US embassy takeover.

(BEHROUZ MEHRI - AFP/Getty Images)
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Iranians sit under an anti-US poster bearing a picture of Statue of Liberty with a falling torch outside former US embassy in Tehran on November 4, 2013, during a demonstration to mark the 34th anniversary of the 1979 US embassy takeover.

(BEHROUZ MEHRI - AFP/Getty Images)
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Iranian women pull US and Israeli flags on the ground outside former US embassy in Tehran on November 4, 2013, during a demonstration to mark the 34th anniversary of the 1979 US embassy takeover.

(BEHROUZ MEHRI - AFP/Getty Images)
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Iranian students climb over the wall of the US embassy in Tehran during the Iranian Revolution, November 4, 1979. The students went on to seize the embassy staff, and hold 52 of them as hostages for 444 days.

(Agence France Presse - AFP/Getty Images)
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Veiled Iranian woman with modern glasses — in which slogans and Ayatollah Khomeini' s portrait are reflected — demonstrates outside of the US Embassy, November 29, 1979.

(STAFF - AFP/Getty Images)
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Boy in camouflage fatigues points toy pistol at an effigy of U.S. President Carter topped with empty cartoons of American-made Winston cigarettes boycotted by Iranians in the current campaign against the United States, during a demonstration outside of the US Embassy, November 18, 1979.

(STAFF - AFP/Getty Images)
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Scarfed female revolutionary stands vigil with gun near the gate of the besieged American Embassy in Tehran, November 18, 1979.

(STAFF - AFP/Getty Images)
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