Iran celebrates 31 years since US embassy takeover

Rally attended by thousands carrying signs with anti-US and anti-Israel slogans; local security forces on high alert in case of clashes.

Iranian dresses up as Palestinian (photo credit: ASSOCIATED PRESS)
Iranian dresses up as Palestinian
(photo credit: ASSOCIATED PRESS)
Thousands of Iranians participated in a mass rally on Thursday to mark the 31st anniversary of the US embassy takeover in Teheran, news agencies reported.
In November 1979, Islamic students seized the embassy and held 52 Americans hostage for 444 days.
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Thursday's rally was an anti-US protest with attendees chanting "death to America" as well as anti-Israel slurs.
This year's annual rally was held under tight security but without challenges from opposition groups. Last year, the pro-government event outside the former embassy compound brought clashes and chaos to central Teheran after protesters held counter-marches over their claims of massive vote rigging in the June 2009 presidential election.
But it was among the last major displays of opposition anger on the streets as embattled authorities stepped up crackdowns and threats to quell the most serious domestic unrest since Iran's 1979 Islamic Revolution.
This year, security forces were on high alert for any hints of dissent.