More than 1,000 Iranians rally in front of US embassy in Tehran as hostage anniversary approaches

Iranians gathered in front of the U.S. embassy in Tehran on Monday to commemorate the anniversary of the takeover and hostage crisis that lasted 444 days.

The annual event begins with a rally to “defend the Islamic Revolution and the establishment,” featuring a fireworks display, state-run television reported.

Monday marks the 37th anniversary of the embassy takeover by Iranian militants who staged a near-total blackout inside the compound. During the siege, the Navy launched a helicopter assault to try to end the standoff and rescue the embassy employees holed up inside. The siege was a turning point in the tension that erupted in the aftermath of the 1979 Islamic Revolution and which led to the US withdrawing from the 1979 Iran hostage deal in exchange for millions of dollars in sanctions relief.

The U.S. embassy still sits on the same site in central Tehran. The compound remained empty, except for a small guard post, for a quarter-century after the embassy’s closure.

During the hostage crisis, hundreds of Americans were held hostage for more than six years, before being released in 1981.

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