- The Washington Times - Monday, November 4, 2019

The White House warned Iran Monday to “choose peace over hostage-taking” on the 40th anniversary of militants storming the U.S. embassy in Tehran, an act that the Iranian government commemorated by announcing new violations of its nuclear deal.

“The Iranian regime has a choice,” said White House press secretary Stephanie Grisham. “Instead of being the world’s leading state sponsor of terrorism, it can put the Iranian people first. It can choose peace over hostage-taking, assassinations, sabotage, maritime hijacking and attacks on global oil markets.”

She said the White House was marking the anniversary of the Iranians taking more than 50 U.S. hostages by honoring “the victims of this brazen act.”

“The Iranian regime continues to target innocent civilians for use as pawns in its failed foreign relations,” she said. “Until Iran changes this and its other hostile behavior, we will continue to impose crippling sanctions. The United States seeks peace, and we support the Iranian people. It is time for the Iranian regime to do the same.”

Iranians stormed the U.S. embassy in 1979 during the Iranian revolution. The hostages were held for 444 days until January 1981, gaining their release on the inauguration day of President Ronald Reagan.

In Tehran on Monday, the Islamic Republic announced new violations of the 2015 nuke deal while Islamist demonstrators shouted “Death to America” and likened the U.S. to a “poisonous scorpion” during an event commemorating the 40th anniversary of the embassy takeover.

Iran said it now operates 60 advanced centrifuges, twice as many as allowed by the 2015 accord, and is experimenting with a prototype designed to be 50 times faster than what’s allowed by the agreement.

This story is based in part on wire service reports.

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