By Hossein Mohammadi, Rooz Online
The Message: Grandly Celebrate the US Embassy Takeover Anniversary
A group of hardliners chant against U.S. outside former U.S. Embassy in Tehran
(October 4, 2013)
Following the historic telephone conversation between Hassan Rowhani and Barack Obama, and the talks between Mohammad Javad Zarif and John Kerry, some officials of the Islamic republic of Iran had spoken of possible ending of the "Death to the US" slogans changed on many formal occasions in Iran. But now the word is that some hardline conservative principlists are calling for a grander celebration for the anniversary of the 444-day takeover of the US embassy in Tehran on November 4, 1979.
In this light, Hashemi Rafsanjani's remarks and reflections on ayatollah Khomeini's approval in stopping the "Death to the US" chants were met with reactions from principlists who strongly criticized the head of the State Expediency Council. Speaking publicly, he had said that he had always been against such harsh slogans, which included 'Death to Bani Sadr', 'Death to Bazargan' and even 'Death to the Soviet Union." He also repeated the account of a meeting with the founder of the Islamic regime, ayatollah Khomeini, who had agreed to end the 'Death to US' chants, something that he has also written about in his memoirs.
But his words brought forth a volley of criticism. Kayhan's Khamenei-appointed editor, for example, accused Rafsanjani of distorting Khomeini's words. Another critic, cleric Ali Saaedi, the representative of Ali Khamenei in the Revolutionary Guards force said that the claims made by Rafsanjani, without naming him, were fabrications. Some Majlis members too criticized Rafsanjani for his remarks and said the president and others should tell Rafsanjani to stop this.
Asqar Ab-Khazar, the head of the November 4th ceremony has spoken about this year's event. "In view of the unreasonable, arrogant and illogical positions taken by the West, lead by the US, against the Iranian nation, this year's November 4th ceremony will be held with more fanfare than previous years and the awoken, aware and brave Islamic Iranian nation will show that the celebration this year will be a big day for 'Death to the US.' The 'Death to the US' and 'Death to Arrogance' chants will be the main and most important chants of people on November 4th and December 9 this year," he said. December 9, 2009 is when the public was called out to demonstrate its support for the Islamic republic against what the rulers called a sedition when massive protests broke out in protest to the announced presidential elections of 2009 against the Green Movement and its leaders.
Prior to these remarks, Hamid-Reza Moghadamfar, the head of the cultural division of the Revolutionary Guards force had said that the November 4th celebrations this year would be held with greater grandeur than in the past.
The remarks by some officials about ending the chants resulted in that last Friday, some of the participants of the weekly congregational Friday prayers in Tehran called for a separate march to chant 'Death to the US.'
A conservative website, Tribune Mostazafin, ordered last week that the 'Death to US' chants not be made from its premises.
Fifty-two Americans were held hostage for 444 days (November 4, 1979 to January 20, 1981
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