Tehran, Iran (CNN)A sea of protesters gathers outside the former US embassy in Iran. Hardline supporters of Iran’s government, bused into the center of Tehran for the yearly rally, are marching past wall-sized graffiti of a skull-faced Statue of Liberty while chanting “down with the USA.”
The demonstration commemorates Iranian students’ 1979 raiding of the embassy and their seizure of 54 American diplomats and citizens — an act that severed relations between the two countries just months after Iran deposed the US-backed Shah and established itself as an Islamic Republic.
Near the protest platform where Iran’s elite Revolutionary Guards commander Mohamad Ali Jafari is about to deliver a speech, six men re-enact a hostage-taking scene. All except one is covered in silver paint. An actor wearing police glasses draws his pistol, pointing it at a man painted in gold, a portrait of US President Donald Trump held to his face.