This week, Iranian police arrested merchants for selling clothing emblazoned with the flags of the United States and England and bearing “satanic symbols.”
According to the AFP, Tehran’s city police chief General Hossein Sajedinia said, “This morning we took these clothes off leading distributors,” noting that any stores that sell such items “will be closed.”
The arrests came just days after the British Embassy reopened in Iran after being closed for four years. The walls of the embassy were still covered in graffiti which read “Death to England.”
The AP reported that on Tuesday, the head of Iran’s elite Revolutionary Guard, Gen. Mohammad Ali Jafari, said the U.S. is still the “Great Satan,” regardless of the historic nuclear accords struck between America and world powers over Iran’s contentious nuclear program. “The enmity against Iranian nation by the U.S. has not lessened and it has been increased,” Jafari said.
Iran’s regime dubbed the United States the “Great Satan” for their support of Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi prior to the presidency of Democratic President Jimmy Carter. Carter is largely associated with igniting the overthrow of the Shah who was replaced by extremist Islamic hardliner Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini.
Carter’s presidency and fate was forever sealed by the 444 day Iranian hostage crisis of 1979 in which a radical Iranian student group known to the Muslim Student Followers of the Imam Khomeini Line, who were supporting the overthrow of the Shah, took 52 American diplomats and citizens hostage at the U.S. Embassy in Tehran.
One year later, in 1980, Republican Ronald Reagan beat Carter in a landslide election, receiving the highest number of electoral votes ever won by a non-incumbent presidential candidate. The United States had been stifled with soaring unemployment and inflation when Reagan declared his victory, taking on the national and international burdens his predecessor had left behind.