November 5, 2015 | Quote

Iran President: Seizing US Embassy Began Our Independence

When Iranian President Hassan Rouhani took office a little over two years ago, most Western nations were gaga over his smile and almost giddy over the fact that Iran now had a kinder, gentler, more liberal leader. But two years on, the reality on the ground shows that nothing changed, in fact it got worse.

On Wednesday, Iranians celebrated the 36th anniversary of the 1979 seizure of the U.S. embassy in Iran. That's the day Iranian students seized control of the U.S. embassy in Tehran on November 4, 1979.  They held 52 American diplomats and citizens – as well as America itself – hostage for 444 days.

President Hassan Rouhani told the crowd, “The U.S. embassy takeover formed the foundation of the country's independence and fight against the arrogant powers by Iran,” echoing Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei's rhetoric against what he calls “global arrogance.”

Demonstrators burned U.S. flags, while praising Khamenei and holding up posters mocking President Obama and the U.S.-Israeli alliance.

When Rouhani took office a little over two years ago, his engaging smile convinced many he would be a very different head of state than his predecessor Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

But despite his friendly smile and empty campaign promises, an analysis published earlier this week paints a different, but not surprising, picture of Iran's human rights record in the two years since Rouhani took office.

In it, Benjamin Weinthal, a fellow for the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, cites a New York Times report quoting U.N. human rights expert Dr. Ahmed Shaheed.

“Iranians are worse off than during the era of Mr. Rouhani's polarizing and relatively conservative predecessor, Mahmoud Amadinejad,” he wrote in his 26-page report.

Read the full article here