Iran parades missile during anniversary of US Embassy takeover

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Thousands of people marched in the streets of Iran on Saturday (November 4) to mark the anniversary of the 1979 seizure of the US embassy, with turnout apparently higher than in recent years when former president Barack Obama pursued detente with Tehran.

Thousands gathered at the former USA embassy in downtown Tehran where a missile, believed to be a 2,000-kilometre-range solid-fuel Sejjil, was on display.

The diplomatic building was stormed by militant students following the 1979 revolution which toppled the US-backed Shah.

Hovering above the rallying crowd, multiple banners could be seen reading "Down with the USA" and "Go to hell", with the upturned images of the U.S. president, Israel's Benjamin Netanyahu and Saudi Arabia's King Salman.

Later in the day, the semi-official Tasnim news agency, which has ties to the elite Revolutionary Guard, said the missile was a Qadr-F that has the same range as a Sejil. He said that during the 18 months of negotiations leading to the nuclear agreement, Iran resisted the United States pressure to put up its missile program for negotiations and successfully campaigned to limit the talks to the nuclear issue due to a lack of global support for the U.S. position.

The US Congress must now make a decision regarding the nuclear deal, which saw Iran agree to limit its enrichment of uranium in exchange for the lifting of economic sanctions.

Iran has paraded its missile capability in recent months in a show of defiance to Trump, whose administration has said Tehran's development of ballistic missiles violates the spirit of the nuclear agreement signed in 2015.

Since the 1979 takeover of the USA mission by Iranian students, which followed the overthrow of the then US -backed shah, or king, in Iran, Iranians have been marking the occasion every year by holding rallies on the anniversary dubbed as "National Day against the Global Arrogance". A number of Iranian officials have responded to Trump's controversial move with outrage, and Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, the country's top authority, attacked the USA president for aiming his rhetoric at Iran as a whole, rather than just its leadership.

Shamkhani also noted that the countries that have supported the US's anti-Iran stance over the past years were themselves at a loss. Many Iranians call it the "den of spies".

In fact, Russian President Vladimir Putin visited Tehran on Wednesday, where Khamenei told him that Tehran and Moscow must step up cooperation to isolate the United States and help defuse conflict in the Middle East. Iran and Russia both fight on the side of Syrian President Bashar al Assad. State television said similar celebrations were being held in other Iranian cities and towns.