TEHRAN, Nov. 1 (UPI) -- The speaker of Iran's parliament said Wednesday the Nov. 4, 1979, anniversary of the takeover of the U.S. embassy in Tehran was an Islamic milestone.
Gholam-Ali Haddad-Adel made the remarks to the chamber, saying the hostage taking had set the stage for the return of the exiled Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini and the ouster of Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi.
"The U.S. embassy in Iran, better known as the 'den of spies,' was the center of conspiracies against Iran," the speaker said.
Armed militants stormed the embassy and took 66 hostages, 14 of whom were later released, although the remaining 52 were held for 14 months until Jan. 20, 1981.
A U.S. military mission to rescue them went wrong in an April 1980 sandstorm and eight U.S. soldiers were killed.