Anti-U.S. sentiment permeates Tehran
TEHRAN, Iran — Iranians chanted “Death to America” and burned the U.S. flag after weekly prayers in Tehran on Friday despite their new president's outreach to the West and promises of moderation and easing of tensions with the outside world.
The chants, customary after Friday services in the Iranian capital, reflect the challenges facing President Hassan Rouhani as he tries to build on the groundbreaking exchanges with Washington that included a telephone chat last week with President Obama — a gesture aimed at ending three decades of estrangement between the two countries.
Rouhani's overtures have been hailed by both Iranian reformists and the country's conservative clerical leadership.
But a wide array of Iranian hard-liners opposes any improved contact with the Unites States. Diplomatic relations between the two were cut after the 1979 Islamic Revolution and the storming of the U.S. Embassy in Tehran, when militants held 52 Americans hostage for 444 days.
During prayers Friday in Tehran, the master-of-ceremonies led the crowd into chants of “Death to America” at least twice from the podium.
The chant was then repeated several times by a group of worshippers who rallied after the ceremony, burning the American and Israeli flags, as they do almost every week.
However, Ayatollah Kazem Sedighi, a cleric who led the prayers, tried to strike middle ground, saying that America and Iran should “join hands” in a struggle to overcome sanctions that have crippled Iran's economy.
Sedighi criticized Washington over the threat of new punitive measures against Iran and urged Obama to “come and work with” Rouhani in lifting the sanctions, which the cleric said had hurt not only people in Iran but also in the wider region, the United States and Europe.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Canada balances security, openness
- Everything is America’s fault, Putin says
- Miss Uganda hopefuls get dirty in agriculture phase of contest
- Attack on Egypt army post in Sinai peninsula kills 30 troops
- U.S. airstrikes beat back Islamic State’s push for Mosul dam
- Gunman in Ottawa attack had been waiting for passport to go to Syria
- China to test lunar orbiter
- Iran acts to comply with interim nuclear deal with world powers, IAEA says
- 2 dead in shooting attack at Canada’s Parliament
- Canadians more fearful, aware after ‘very rare’ attack in Ottawa
- Libyan troops seek to retake Benghazi