Iranians Chant 'Death to America' to Mark 1979 Embassy Takeover

By Patrick Burke | November 2, 2012 | 11:14 AM EDT

Iranian girls attend an annual state-backed rally in front of the former U.S. Embassy in Tehran to mark the Nov. 4, 1979 storming of the building by militant students who held 52 Americans hostage for 444 days to protest the U.S. failure to hand over ousted Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi to Iran for trial. (AP Photo/Vahid Salemi)

( - Thousands of Iranians, many of them students, marched Friday in Tehran to mark the approaching anniversary of the Iranian takeover of the U.S. Embassy in 1979.

Iranians call the anniversary, the “National Day of Campaign against Global Arrogance,” and this year -- as happens every year -- it is routinely greeted with chants of "death to America."

“Participants in the annual rally in front of the former U.S. embassy in Tehran, known by the Iranians as "the den of spies," vowed to follow the path of the late founder of the Islamic Republic, Imam Khomeini, and renewed allegiance to the Supreme Leader of the Islamic Revolution, Ayatollah Seyed Ali Khamenei,” the state-run Fars News Agency reported on Friday.

“The demonstrators also condemned the U.S.-led western sanctions against Iran, and stressed that the United States is the main enemy of the Iranian nation,” the report said.

Iranians have marked the “National Day of Campaign against Global Arrogance” every year since 1979.

On November 4 of that year, a group of Iranians stormed the American Embassy and took more than 50 American hostages, starting a 444-day-long Iranian Hostage Crisis.

The hostages were eventually released on January 20, 1981, the day President Ronald Reagan was sworn into office, following a botched and deadly rescue attempt by the Carter administration.

The hostage crisis was part of the anti-American Islamic Revolution led by Ayatollah Khomeini.