Congressman Blasts Iran for Museum Devoted to Hostage Taking Incident

By Jim Burns | July 7, 2008 | 8:20 PM EDT

( - Ohio Democratic Congressman James Traficant took to the House floor Wednesday to denounce an Iranian museum that salutes the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks against the United States and commemorates the 22nd anniversary of the assault on the U.S. embassy in Teheran that resulted in 52 Americans being held hostage for 444 days.

"Unbelievable," Traficant thundered. "Uncle Sam continues to spoon feed this guy (Iranian Leader Mohammed) Khatemi, while they are celebrating American tragedies. Beam me up. I say it's time to throw this Khatemi guy out and recognize the democratic resistance located in Paris, France that's trying to overthrow this regime and bring some democracy to Iran."

Traficant concluded, "President Bush has made some great decisions. He'd be wise to look at what's happening in Iran."

The two-story museum, called the Glass Palace, a reference to the World Trade Center, was built on the grounds of the old U.S. embassy in Teheran and focuses on two of the most notorious attacks on the United States.

It honors the storming of the embassy by Iranian students in 1979 after the Ayatollah Khomeini had gained control of the nation and labeled the U.S. the "Great Satan." The students attacked the embassy shortly after American officials allowed the Shah to come to New York City for cancer treatment. The Shah died in July of 1980, while in exile in Cairo, Egypt.

According to Radio France, the museum also has a photo of the World Trade Center collapsing after terrorists had smashed jetliners into the center's twin towers. At the bottom of the photo are images of President George Bush and Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon smiling.

Near the museum's entrance is a statue of an American soldier with his hands tied behind his back, representing one of the 52 American embassy hostages.

American flags are also represented in the museum, containing the inscription, "Death to America."

Recently, Khatemi told the United Nations General Assembly, "I want to say that the nation of Iran has no problem with the people and the nation of America." However, he added, "There have been some policies from America in the last couple of years that the people of Iran have suffered from."

The United States severed diplomatic relations with Iran following the 1979 Islamic revolution that toppled the Shah. The U.S. has for many years listed Iran as a supporter of international terrorism for backing anti-Israeli guerrillas. But since Sept. 11, U.S. officials have described Iran as a potential partner in the war on terrorism.

Both Iran and the United States back Afghanistan's anti-Taliban northern alliance, and both have called for a broad-based government to take over Afghanistan.