TEHRAN (Reuters) – Iranians marked the 1979 seizure of the U.S. embassy on Monday, a day before Americans elect a new president, with some demonstrators indifferent to the U.S. vote and a few wondering if it could help rebuild ties.
Iran has been a focus of the foreign policy debate in the U.S. campaign before Tuesday’s vote. Both candidates, Democrat Barack Obama and Republican John McCain, say they will toughen sanctions. Obama says he is prepared to engage in direct talks.
Kayhan International, a hardline English-language daily, said in a column that it did not matter who won the U.S. race. “Hopefully either of the two would be presiding over the end of the U.S. domineering system, whose den of espionage was taken over this day in 1979 by Tehran University students, in a move that nipped in the bud the plots of the White House against the newfound Islamic Republic,” it wrote on its front page.
The United States cut ties with Tehran in 1980. Washington now says it is considering opening a U.S. interests section in Tehran, which would mean sending diplomats. It says this would show the United States was against Iran’s government not people. But amid “Death to America” chants outside the former U.S. mission, some wondered if Tuesday’s vote could bring change.