Iran marks 1979 US Embassy takeover amid nationwide protests

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DUBAI, United Arab Emirates — Iran on Friday marked the 1979 takeover of the U.S. Embassy in Tehran as its theocracy faces nationwide protests after the September demise of a 22-year-old girl who was arrested by the nation’s morality police. In the meantime, activists in southeast Iran claimed safety forces killed at the very least 16 folks in protests there.

Iranian state-run tv aired reside feeds of assorted commemorations across the nation, with some in Tehran waving placards of the triangle-shaped Iranian drones Russia now makes use of to strike targets in its battle on Ukraine. However whereas crowds in Tehran seemed giant with chador-wearing ladies waving the Islamic Republic’s flag, different commemorations within the nation appeared smaller, with only some dozen folks collaborating.

Iran’s hard-line President Ebrahim Raisi, talking to folks gathered in entrance of the previous U.S. Embassy constructing, criticized these protesting the theocracy.

“Anyone taking the smallest step in the direction of breaching security and riots, must know that they are stepping in the direction of enemies of the Islamic Revolution,” he stated. “Americans think they can execute the plan they carried out in some countries like Syria and Libya here. What a false dream!”

These on the commemoration additionally waved effigies of French President Emmanuel Macron and Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman. Indicators and chants from the gang known as out: “Death to America! Death to Israel!”

The demonstrations which have convulsed Iran for seven weeks after the demise of Mahsa Amini mark one of many largest challenges to the nation’s clerical rulers since they seized energy within the 1979 Islamic Revolution. A minimum of 314 protesters have been killed and 14,170 arrested for the reason that unrest started, in response to Human Rights Activists in Iran, a bunch that’s been monitoring the crackdown on demonstrators.

Iran’s authorities has not provided an general demise toll, with one state newspaper even making the counterfactual declare that nobody had been killed by safety forces over the 49 days of protests.

In a while Friday, protests started in Iran’s southeastern Sistan and Baluchestan province, which has seen weeks of unrest. On-line movies purported to point out folks marching within the streets and a few throwing stones, with the crackle of gunfire within the background and clouds of tear gasoline rising. Some protesters appeared bloodied, whereas later footage purportedly confirmed useless our bodies at morgues.

Advocacy group HalVash claimed safety forces killed at the very least 16 folks Friday, figuring out 9 of them by identify.

Iran’s state-run IRNA information company later reported that protesters set fireplace to a police stand in Khash, a metropolis in Sistan and Baluchestan, and attacked the native governor’s workplace.

On Thursday, a Shiite cleric reportedly was shot and killed in Sistan and Baluchestan, an extended restive province that’s predominantly Sunni.

Laborious-liners inside Iran lengthy have bussed authorities staff and others into such Nov. 4 demonstrations, which have a carnival-like really feel for the scholars and others collaborating on Taleqani Avenue in downtown Tehran.

This yr, nonetheless, it remained clear Iran’s theocracy hopes to energise its hard-line base. Some indicators learn “We Are Obedient To The Leader,” referring to 83-year-old Supreme Chief Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, who has closing say over all issues of state within the nation. The weekslong demonstrations have included cries calling for Khamenei’s demise and the overthrow of the federal government.

The annual commemoration marks when scholar demonstrators climbed over the fence on the embassy on Nov. 4, 1979, angered by then-President Jimmy Carter permitting the fatally unwell Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi to obtain most cancers therapy in the US.

The scholars quickly took over the complete, leafy compound. A couple of staffers fled and hid within the residence of the Canadian ambassador to Iran earlier than escaping the nation with the assistance of the CIA, a narrative dramatized within the 2012 movie “Argo.”

The 444-day disaster transfixed America, as nightly pictures of blindfolded hostages performed on tv units throughout the nation. Iran lastly let all of the captives go the day Carter left workplace on Ronald Reagan’s inauguration day in 1981.

Marking the anniversary, State Division spokesperson Ned Worth stated that officers “are grateful for the selfless sacrifice of our diplomats who served in Tehran” and known as for the discharge of Individuals held by Iran.

“The Iranian regime has a long history of unjustly imprisoning foreign nationals for use as political leverage,” Worth stated.

That enmity between Iran and the U.S. has ebbed and surged over the many years since. The U.S. and world powers reached a nuclear take care of Iran in 2015 that drastically curtailed its program in change for the lifting of worldwide sanctions. Nonetheless, then-President Donald Trump unilaterally withdrew from the deal in 2018, sparking years of tensions since.

Late Thursday in California at a rally earlier than the U.S. midterm elections, President Joe Biden additionally stopped his speech to deal with a crowd that held up cellphones displaying the message “FREE IRAN.”

“Don’t worry, we’re gonna free Iran,” Biden stated in an apart throughout a marketing campaign rally for Democratic Rep. Mike Levin. He added, “They’re gonna free themselves pretty soon.”

In his speech Friday, Raisi referenced Biden’s feedback.

“Maybe he said this because of a lack of concentration. … He said we aim to liberate Iran,” Raisi stated. “Mr. President! Iran was liberated 43 years ago, and it’s determined not to become your captive again. We will never become a milking cow.”

Nationwide Safety Council spokesman John Kirby on Friday described Biden’s feedback as expressing “solidarity with the protesters, as he’s been doing from the very outset.”

“It’s going to be up to the people of Iran to determine their future. And that hasn’t changed,” Kirby stated.

Biden had stated he was keen to have the U.S. rejoin the nuclear deal, however talks have damaged down. For the reason that protests started in mid-September, the American place seems to have hardened with officers saying restoring the deal isn’t a precedence amid the demonstrations.

On Friday, some protesters waved big placards of atoms as a reminder that Iran now enriches uranium nearer than ever to weapons-grade ranges. Nonproliferation specialists warn Iran now has sufficient enriched uranium to make at the very least one nuclear weapon if it selected, although Tehran insists its program is peaceable.

Comply with Jon Gambrell on Twitter at www.twitter.com/jongambrellAP.

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