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'Down with US’ chant Iranians protesters as they burn Trump effigy & dollars over sanctions return [photos]

A day ahead of the anti-Iranian sanctions coming back into force, thousands took to the streets of Tehran to condemn the US and Donald Trump. Marking the 1979 US embassy takeover, the rally saw American and Israeli flags burned, AFP reports.

Crowds held anti-American banners, some of which read ‘Down with US’, in the Iranian capital on Sunday. An effigy of the US President Donald Trump, placed on huge prints of a 100 US dollar banknote, was burned outside the former US embassy, while others were seen burning actual dollars.

Local media reported that similar demonstrations were held across the country.

November 4 marks 39 years since the 1979 US embassy takeover. Back then student activists stormed the US diplomatic compound, taking 52 embassy staff hostage. The 444-day siege led to the two nations cutting ties, not having restored relations to this day.

Iran celebrates the embassy takeover every year as a blow against Washington, which had supported the autocratic rule of Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi, the last shah of Iran. The latter was overthrown during the 1979 Iranian Revolution. The closed US embassy compound, locally known as the “nest of spies,” is currently a cultural center.

Tensions reached boiling point in May this year, after Donald Trump walked away from the historic 2015 Iranian nuclear deal. Even key US allies, including France and Germany, failed to talk Trump, the long-time critic of the deal, out of the decision. The US withdrawal from the deal came despite the fact that the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) confirmed Tehran’s compliance with the accord on numerous occasions.

During the six months after the withdrawal from the accord, Trump re-imposed most of the sanctions on Iran that had been suspended under the deal. The latest batch is scheduled to come into effect on November 5 and is expected to see 700 people blacklisted. On Saturday, Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei spoke out against the latest round of sanctions, blasting Trump for having “disgraced” US prestige and what remains of its liberal democracy.

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File photos © AFP 

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