Iranian protestors want no thaw in relations with US - ABC 33/40 - Birmingham News, Weather, Sports

Iranian protestors want no thaw in relations with US

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Americans collectively held their breath on this day in 1979. Thirty-four years ago, the Iran hostage crisis began. Militants, some 500 college students, stormed the United States Embassy in Tehran and seized hostages.  The students demanded the US extradite Shah Mohammed Reza Pahlevi who came to America for medical treatment after his authoritarian rule had been overthrown. Fifty-four diplomats spent 444 days in captivity. The situation led to the severance of diplomatic ties with Washington.

Iran celebrates the embassy takeover as an official holiday. On this anniversary, tens of thousands of anti-American protestors showed up outside the former embassy. This was the biggest anti-American rally in years, with lots of shouts of "death to America." That is a phrase President Hassan Rouhanni had urged protestors not to use anymore.

The protestors, however, do not support Rouhani's recent historic outreach to Washington. Back in September, Rouhanni accepted a call from President Obama and Secretary of State John Kerry held talks with Iran's foreign minister.



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