Accessibility links

Breaking News

IRGC Commander Defends 1979 Seizure of U.S. Embassy, Says 'Officials Were Aware'

Iran's Revolutionary Guard commander Mohammad Ali Jafari speaks during a rally in front of the former U.S. Embassy in Tehran, Iran, on Sunday, Nov. 4, 2018.

IRGC Commander-in-Chief Mohammad Ali Jafari has defended the 1979 seizure of the U.S. embassy in Tehran on the event's anniversary in the Iranian capital on Sunday November 4, Iranian media reported.

"The revolution would have not lasted for forty years if the Americans remained in that embassy," Jafari said, adding, "The revolution would have come to an end within a decade" if the embassy was not seized.

Contrary to all previous official accounts of the 1979 seizure of the U.S. embassy and taking its diplomats hostage for 444 days, Jafari said that "Iranian officials knew about the decision to storm the embassy."

However, in an apparent contradiction with his previous remark, he added that "a limited number of students attacked the U.S. embassy based on a spontaneous decision”. Then once again he alluded to a pre-planned scenario, saying, "this was how the embassy was attacked, in order to pretend that it was the mob that made the decision."

In his speech Jafari addressed President Donald Trump, "Mr. Trump!, Never threaten Iran. You should listen to the fearful laments of your soldiers in Tabas [where a rescue mission in 1980 to airlift the embassy hostages out of Iran failed] and the Persian Gulf [where US and UK marines were arrested by Iranian forces in separate events in previous years]."

Jafari's speech was part of a series of organized gatherings and marches in Tehran and other major Iranian cities on Sunday to mark the anniversary of the embassy's seizure.

A resolution read out for the crowd in Tehran forbade "any negotiation with America," while the crowd chanted slogans against the United States, Israel and Saudi Arabia.

The 1979 event, led to the severing of Iran-US ties for four decades.