Thousands of Iranians chanted "Death to America" near the old U.S. embassy on Monday (November 4), the 40th anniversary on the seizure of the mission, with the country's army chief comparing the United States with a poisonous scorpion
intent on harming Iran.
Hardline Islamist students stormed the embassy soon after the fall of the U.S.-backed shah, and 52 Americans were held hostage there for 444 days. The two countries have been enemies ever since.
Relations between the two countries have reached a crisis over the past year since U.S. President Donald Trump abandoned a 2015 pact between Iran and world powers under which it accepted curbs to its nuclear programme in return for lifting sanctions.
The United States has reimposed sanctions aimed at halting all Iranian oil exports, saying it seeks to force it to negotiate to reach a wider deal.
Khamenei has banned Iranian officials from holding talks unless the United States returns to the nuclear deal and lifts all sanctions.