Sixteen new murals have been unveiled at the former US Embassy in Tehran ahead of the 40th anniversary of the compound’s November 4, 1979 takeover.
The images, painted in the colours of the American flag, feature a series of well-known American cultural products, corporations, weapons systems, and various historical events.
The murals include an angry Mickey Mouse armed with a handgun on a “1$” US stamp, a box of McDonald’s french fries with missiles flying out, a modified great seal featuring the American bald eagle holding bullets in one hand and drugs in the other with a Star of David over its head, a tattered and broken Statue of Liberty, a flaccid Dirty Harry-style revolver, and more.
Among the murals is a painting dedicated to the June 2019 incident in which Iran destroyed a $220 million US spy drone. Another image shows an Iranian player’s goal against the US at the 1998 World Cup. Yet another is dedicated to the July 3, 1988 shootdown of an Iranian passenger jet by US forces in the Persian Gulf, which claimed 290 lives.
#Iran today unveiled new anti-US murals daubed on America's former embassy in Tehran. The new artwork features a gun-toting Mickey Mouse, a nod to Hamid Estili's goal against the US in the '98 Fifa World Cup, and a box of McDonald's missiles.— Kian Sharifi (@KianSharifi) November 2, 2019
(Pics via YJC news agency) pic.twitter.com/5QF6TIC42q
New murals near the former U.S. Embassy in #Tehran, #Iran unveiled to coincide with Monday's 40th Anniversary of the #Iran Hostage Crisis. Pictures below. The one on the bottom left appears to be a reenactment of the downing of the U.S. drone in June: pic.twitter.com/BoKgR118cu— Jason Brodsky (@JasonMBrodsky) November 2, 2019
I got a side with Iran and these murals they painted on the old US embassy in Tehran.— gTime Johnny (@naturehack) November 3, 2019
We must negotiate instead of kill. The military complex is out of control.
Here's story:: https://t.co/R0udJKE22U pic.twitter.com/jBso5HLyLT
The murals were revealed at a ceremony attended by Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps commander Maj. Gen. Hossein Salami, who provocatively stepped over an American flag laid out on the ground while attending the ceremony.
#Iran unveils new anti-American murals on walls of US embassy in Tehran on the eve of 40th anniversary of US embassy takeover on Monday, November 4: https://t.co/LNFA5x9vSKhttps://t.co/jPoO5nVdTIhttps://t.co/a5Pge3cP4whttps://t.co/wa4vWThgr8https://t.co/004LdwEzfc pic.twitter.com/jlPUm2Z23x— Sobhan Hassanvand (@Hassanvand) November 2, 2019
In a televised address, Salami blasted the US over its efforts to stop Iran from pursuing a peaceful nuclear energy programme, recalling that the US possesses a vast arsenal of nuclear weapons and is the only country in the world to have actually used nuclear weapons. He also accused the US of hypocrisy with its claim to supporting democracy and human rights, claiming that Washington has given support to “all dictators” around the world. According to the commander, “America is no longer the first in anything,” and adversaries can now easily “unbalance its system with the least amount of force applied.”
According to Iranian media, the murals’ overall themes included the concepts of ‘The decline of America and the West’ and “America’s crimes around the world and Iran.”
40 Years of Tensions
The November 4, 1979 takeover of the US Embassy in Tehran took place during the course of the Iranian Revolution, and saw a group of university students take over the US compound, dubbed the “den of spies,” leading to a hostage crisis in which 52 American diplomats were held for 444 days. The hostage crisis and the failure of the April 1980 rescue mission was a major blow to then-US President Jimmy Carter, and one of the contributing factors to his defeat by Ronald Reagan in the 1980 presidential election. The two countries have had frosty relations ever since.
A brief thaw in tensions began in 2015 with the signing of the Iran nuclear deal, which promised Tehran sanctions relief in exchange for a commitment not to pursue nuclear weapons. Hopes for relations improving further were dashed in 2018, when the Trump administration unilaterally scrapped the deal and reinstated tough banking and energy restrictions against the Islamic Republic, and threatened to apply secondary sanctions against any country buying Iranian energy. In May 2019, the US sent a carrier strike group to the Middle East, citing a vague ‘Iranian threat’. Shortly after, the region was hit by a series of dangerous escalations, including mysterious tanker sabotage attacks, the seizure of commercial vessels, and drone shootdowns. After each incident, both sides threatened one another with deadly consequences in the event of war, but have so far managed to avoid direct military confrontation.