Tehran, Nov 4 (EFE).- Iran marked the 43rd anniversary of the seizure of the 1979 United States embassy in Tehran on Friday as anti-government protests continue to shake the nation.
President Ebrahim Raisi took the anniversary as an opportunity to remind the US that Iran was liberated 43 years ago, in what is widely being perceived as a day to boost the regime’s profile despite deadly protests that have rocked the country since 16 September.
“I am telling Biden that Iran was freed 43 years ago,” by the Islamic Revolution, Raisi said in a televised speech on the anniversary of the hostage crisis in Tehran where over 50 Americans were held ushering in an era of tense relations between both countries.
Raisi’s remarks came hours after US president Joe Biden claimed he would “free” Iran.
Thousands of people listened to Raisi outside the former US embassy in Tehran, locally known as the Nest of Spies, where they shouted slogans of “Death to America” and “Death to Israel”.
Many carried posters with the image of Iran’s supreme leader, Ali Khamenei, and the founder of the Islamic Republic Ayatollah Khomeini, as Iranian flags fluttered in the breeze.
This is the first time Raisi has taken part in commemorating the anniversary of the US embassy hostage crisis.
During the assault on the embassy in 1979, Iranian students kidnapped 52 US officials and held them for 444 days. The rioters were calling for the extradition of Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi, who was overthrown by the revolution led by Ayatollah Khomeini and had fled the country.
“Western media are part of the conspiracy in the protests,” a demonstrator at the event told Efe.
Many people are convinced that the protests that have gripped the nation in recent weeks have been concocted by the United States, Israel and Saudi Arabia, working with some European countries.
Iran has seen a wave of violent protest sweep across the country following the death in police custody of Mahsa Amini on September 16.
The young woman had been arrested three days earlier by Iran’s morality police for not wearing her veil correctly.
Protests are mainly led by young people and women under the slogan “Woman, Life, Freedom!”
Slogans targeting the regime and the burning of veils, one of the symbols of the Islamic Republic, have become commonplace at demonstrations, something that was unthinkable until recently.
Iranian authorities have accused the US of backing and boosting the protests with the support of Israel and Saudi Arabia.
The regime has also accused the two Iranian journalists who broke the news story of Amini’s arrest and death — Nilufar Hamedi, who went to the hospital where Amini was admitted, and Elahe Mohammadi, who covered her funeral — of working for the CIA.
The protests have shifted in recent weeks from universities to mourning ceremonies driven by demonstrators grieving their dead.
Chehelom is observed 40 days after the death of a person.
Several recent ceremonies have snowballed into wider anti-regime riots which have sparked violent clampdowns from Iran’s security forces.