As President Obama continues to make claims that the nuclear deal with Iran is a step toward better relations, the atmosphere in Tehran is festival-like as the country celebrates the anniversary of the takeover of the American Embassy on November 4, 1979.

The U.S. bargained away economic sanctions for promised restrictions on Iran’s nuclear production capacity.

Video of the Supreme Leader of Iran, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei standing before huge crowds chanting, “Death to America” even as the negotiations were ongoing, raised doubts about Iran’s genuine willingness to adhere to the agreement with the U.S.

The Ayatollah told the Associated Press recently that the chants are not to be taken literally. “The aim of the slogan is not death to the American people. The slogan means death to U.S. policies and arrogance.”

He recently told Iranian students that the U.S. “would not hesitate” to destroy Iran if given the chance and said the slogan “is eternal.”

President Obama has said he expects the nuclear agreement to improve American-Iranian relations, but the continued hostility in both the public square and leadership indicates that longstanding animosity is not diminishing.

The country is celebrating the 36th anniversary of the seizure of 52 American hostages when militant students took over the U.S. Embassy.

The hostages were held for 444 days during the Carter administration and were released on January 20, 1981 minutes after Ronald Reagan was sworn in as Carter’s successor.

The celebration has included public burnings of the American flag and anti-American billboards in Iran’s capital city, Tehran, mocking the famous photograph of the flag-raising on the island of Iwo Jima during World War II by picturing the soldiers standing atop a pile of dead bodies.

Iran's President Hassan Rouhani also claimed that the chants of "Death to America" are not directed at Americans when he spoke on CBS “60 Minutes.

“This slogan that is chanted is not a slogan against the American people. The Iranian people are not looking for war with any country, but at the same time, the policies of the United States have been against the national interests of the Iranian people.”

Source -TheHill


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