TEHRAN: Thousands of Iranians chanting “Death to America” burnt US flags yesterday to mark the 33rd anniversary of the seizure of the US Embassy in Tehran, just days before the American presidential election.
The demonstrators also chanted anti-British and anti-Israeli slogans, and burnt Israeli flags, in front of the site of the former embassy, dubbed the “den of spies” by the authorities, an AFP photographer reported.
This year’s rally came just days before Tuesday’s US presidential election in which Republican challenger Mitt Romney has made Iran’s controversial nuclear program a top foreign policy issue.
“The greatest threat the world faces is a nuclear Iran,” Romney said in a campaign debate with Democratic incumbent Barack Obama.
Speaking at yesterday’s rally, the commander of Iran’s volunteer Basij militia, Brig. Gen. Mohammad Reza Naqdi, said the Islamic republic will face the sanctions head on.
“The Iranian nation has chosen its path and will overcome the sanctions by adopting the ‘economy of resistance’,” he said, referring to supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei’s policy of confronting the punitive measures.
After long denying the impact of these measures, Iranian leaders are now beginning to acknowledge the extent of the damage and denouncing what they say is an “economic war” against the Islamic republic.
“Those who say that by compromising with the US, the economic situation will improve... (should know that) this is a big lie and deceit,” Naqdi said.
“We have declared a 10 kg in gold reward for researchers and historians, who have 10 years to prove that there is a more criminal country than America in the world... the US is the most hated among all nations.”