21:47 GMT +312 November 2019
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    Iranian protesters set a US flag on fire during a rally outside the former US embassy in the Iranian capital Tehran on November 4, 2019, to mark the 40th anniversary of the Iran hostage crisis.

    Photos: Tehran Marks 1979 Embassy Siege With Anti-American Rally

    © AFP 2019 / ATTA KENARE
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    In 1979, fifty-two American diplomats and citizens were taken hostage at the US embassy in Tehran by Iranian college students belonging to a group that supported the Iranian Revolution.

    Thousands of people rallied outside the former US embassy in Tehran on Monday to mark the 40th anniversary of the Iran hostage crisis. People marched chanting anti-American slogans "Down with USA" and "Death to America" and carrying effigies mocking US President Donald Trump.

    ​According to local news agencies, rallies also took place in the cities of Mashhad, Shiraz and Esfahan.

    On 4 November 1979, Iranian students belonging to the Muslim Student Followers of the Imam's Line, a group that supported the Iranian Revolution, took fifty-two American diplomats and citizens hostage. This happened several months after the toppling of Iran's US-backed Shah. The students demanded that Washington hand over the ousted ruler. One Iranian civilian and eight US servicemen were killed during a failed operation to rescue the hostages who eventually spent more than a year inside the embassy.  

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