(Reuters) - Thousands of Iranians chanted "Death to America" and vowed not to yield to U.S. pressure over Iran's nuclear programme at a demonstration on Sunday marking the 28th anniversary of the seizure of the American embassy.
Students burned the Stars and Stripes outside the leafy compound in downtown Tehran that once housed the U.S. mission stormed by radical students on November 4, 1979, almost 10 months after the U.S.-backed shah left into exile.
"The crowd shows that pressures from abroad cannot weaken our national will and Islamic unity," said Abdollah Salehi, a 22-year-old Tehran University student.
"Sanctions will not lead to any result."
The United States severed diplomatic ties with the Islamic Republic in 1980, a few months after the seizure. Now, the two foes are embroiled in a row over Iran's atomic plans, which Washington says are aimed at building atomic bombs.
Tehran insists its plans are peaceful but its failure to allay suspicions has prompted the U.N. Security Council to impose two rounds of limited sanctions on Iran. Washington is pressing for a third round of sterner measures.
"We are not afraid of sanctions," read one banner.
Another read "We will not compromise with America even for a moment", quoting Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, Iran's supreme leader.
Washington insists it wants diplomacy to end the standoff but has not ruled out military action if that route fails.