Iran, hatred is still brewing within the U.S. Embassy

Yesterday Iran once more showed the world its everyday face. “Death to America,” was screamed by tens of thousands. Just like 34 years ago, on November 4, 1979, the Revolutionary Guards again burned U.S. and Israeli flags, hanged several Uncle Sams in effigy, thronged together like in the good old days among the half-ruined walls and inside the rusty gates of the American Embassy that were opened for the occasion, conveying all their hated.

For the anniversary of the seizure of the Embassy, they entered together with journalists who unexpectedly wore tags with hate texts against the U.S., venturing into the rooms where on that autumn morning starting at ten o’clock, every international rule had been violated, and that had been filled with screaming and armed youths, including a 23-year-old Ahmadinejad, who drove the terrified civil servants to barricade themselves in the last office, until (after a few South African women were released) 52 were taken prisoner by the screaming Basij and held for 444 days. Yesterday the slogans were the same: “We are fighting against global arrogance; Iran is the best; Let me die for Iran.” After so many years, and during a time of negotiations with the U.S., the Embassy was not revisited by a group of historians or politicians aware of the fact that it was a gesture of unspeakable violence, but by tens of thousands of screaming Basij bearing the image of Khamenei.

For a couple of months international public opinion has been bombarded by the idea that, following Rouhani’s election, Iran has changed its cultural and political structure in its intention of obtaining atomic weapons. The anti-American protest that took place yesterday follows the offensive of Rouhani’s smiles at the U.N., while the uranium enrichment negotiations, which Kerry describes as positive, are in full swing. Since another meeting between the G5+1 and Iran will take place this week, a great deal of dissembling will be required to set aside the episode. The Revolutionary Guards, the violent monitors of female clothing, sexuality, alcohol and opinions and Neda’s assassins, the sworn enemies imprisoned in 2009, are the base of a pyramid that cannot pull a benevolent beard from its hat to change a deep-rooted policy.

It is no coincidence that the preparations for the protest boosted by the call for the “Great Death to America Prize” and by two anti-American hymns created by the Guards for the occasion had the essential backup of Khamenei, the supreme leader who deals the cards. He dealt Rouhani his: “Bargain and buy time to block the sanctions,” but he told the young people what he wrote on Twitter: “No one should think that our negotiators are ready to compromise; they are our children and children of the revolution.” Khamenei reveals his attachment to the hard line even more by declaring that Israel is an “illegitimate and bastard regime” that is, it should vanish. The youths at the square expect nothing less than this: Death to America. That is the culture of Khomeini’s Iran. Four women were recently stoned to death, and the hunt for homosexuals, infidels and dissidents has intensified.

Iran is the same. Perhaps yesterday’s completely unopposed demonstration is a souk move. The meaning would be: see how hard it is to change lines; go slowly on the nuclear issue. But for Ruthie Bloom, who authored a study on the embassy occupation titled To Hell in a Handbasket, “The regime shows what is unavoidably its true face. Bloom tells that when the Americans were seized at the Embassy, instead of the marines being ordered to defend them, they were told to surrender with their heads held high. It was not a good idea. I hope that we have learned the lesson.

This article originally appeared in slightly different form in Italian in Il Giornale (05  November 05, 2013; English copyright, The Gatestone Institute

About the Author
Fiamma Nirenstein is a journalist, author, former Deputy President of the Committee on Foreign Affairs of the Italian Chamber of Deputies, and member of the Italian delegation at the Council of Europe.