Tehran Times reported on Monday that “people, especially students, took to the streets in various cities across Iran to mark the 40th anniversary of the capture of the former US embassy, known as the ‘den of espionage,’ in Tehran.”
As was to be expected, the demonstrators chanted anti-Israel slogans.
Commander of Iran’s Army Major General Seyyed Abdolrahim Mousavi on Monday hailed the “Iranian nation’s unity and resistance in the face of external challenges,” and said the takeover of the US embassy 40 years ago, on November 4, 1979, “destroyed Washington’s fictitious grandeur,” Mehr News reported.
The embassy takeover, a.k.a. the Iran hostage crisis, began when a group of Iranian college students who supported the Iranian Revolution took over the US Embassy in Tehran. Fifty-two American diplomats and citizens were held hostage for 444 days, from November 4, 1979, to January 20, 1981.
Iran released women, African-Americans and a man diagnosed with multiple sclerosis following the takeover, but kept the remaining 52 detainees.
After diplomatic negotiations had failed to win the release of the hostages, then President Jimmy Carter ordered a rescue mission – Operation Eagle Claw – which failed miserably on April 24, 1980, resulting in the death of one Iranian civilian, and the accidental deaths of eight American servicemen after one of the helicopters crashed into a transport aircraft. Carter’s Secretary of State Cyrus Vance resigned following that disaster.
“Kneeling before the enemies and obeying them will never have any achievements for the Iranian nation and the Islamic Revolution,” General Mousavi said in an address in Tehran on Monday. “The US embassy takeover was one of the most prominent movements in the history of the world’s revolutions that marred the fake image of the imperialists and the US,” he claimed.