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Iran 'Freed' In 1979 Islamic Revolution, Raisi Says In Response To Biden Comment

By RFE/RL's Radio Farda November 04, 2022

Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi said on November 4 that Iran had been freed by the Islamic Revolution of 1979 in response to U.S. President Joe Biden's comment about Iran needing to be freed.

"I am telling Biden that Iran was freed 43 years ago," Raisi said in a live televised speech.

Biden made his statement on November 3 during a campaign speech in California as dozens of demonstrators gathered nearby holding banners supporting Iranian protesters who have been demonstrating against the government for weeks.

"Don't worry, we're gonna free Iran," Biden said. "They're gonna free themselves pretty soon."

The Iranian president noted that the comment came a day before the anniversary of the storming of the U.S. Embassy In Tehran in November 1979, which resulted in dozens of Americans being taken hostage for 444 days. "He [Biden] might have uttered [the comment] in a state of wackiness," Raisi added.

Raisi's response comes amid a brutal state crackdown on nearly seven weeks of antiestablishment protests that erupted following the September 16 death of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini.

Iranian women have removed and burned their hijabs, the mandatory Islamic head scarves, while many protesters have called for an end to the Islamic republic. "Woman, life, freedom" and "Death to the dictator" have been among the main chants of protesters.

The authorities have claimed Iran's enemies, including the United States and Israel, are behind the unrest.

More than 270 people have been killed in the crackdown, according to rights groups. Several thousand more have been arrested, including many protesters, as well as journalists, lawyers, activists, digital rights defenders, and others.

On November 4, 1979, student followers of Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini stormed the U.S. Embassy and took dozens of American hostages. The attack sparked a diplomatic crisis that reverberates through the region to this day.

Amid Iran's Islamic Revolution, students supported by large, angry crowds took control of the U.S. compound. They said they were outraged that the country's former leader, Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi, had been admitted to the United States for cancer treatment.

It would be 444 days before 52 American hostages were freed. The diplomatic standoff inflicted grave damage to the presidency of Jimmy Carter, who was ousted in the 1980 election in a loss to Ronald Reagan, and U.S.-Iranian relations have never recovered.

Written by Ardeshir Tayebi based on an original story in Persian by RFE/RL's Radio Farda

Source: https://www.rferl.org/a/raisi-says-iran-freed-1979- revolution-biden-comment/32116010.html

Copyright (c) 2022. RFE/RL, Inc. Reprinted with the permission of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, 1201 Connecticut Ave., N.W. Washington DC 20036.

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