TEHRAN - Chanting “Death to America” and burning the US flag, thousands of Iranians joined protests Wednesday marking the 36th anniversary of the seizure of Washington’s embassy in Tehran.

The outpouring of anti-US sentiment came despite a landmark nuclear deal between Iran and major powers including Washington in July. The storming of the embassy by students, months after the Islamic revolution, led to a 444-day hostage crisis and a break in diplomatic relations that continues to this day. Demonstrators gathered outside the former US embassy in Tehran and across Iran for what was declared “national day of the fight against global arrogance” — a term often used by supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.

Protesters held placards with slogans including “Down with U.S.A” and “Down with Israel”. Prosecutor General Ebrahim Raisi gave a fiery speech attacking US “atrocities” ranging from slavery, the treatment of Native Americans, phone tapping and “the killing of 300,000 Iraqis”.

“A day will come when they will have to answer in court for their atrocities,” he said. On Monday, a majority of Iranian legislators said the Islamic republic would not drop the “Death to America” slogan despite the nuclear accord. Khamenei has endorsed the July 14 deal which curbs Iran’s atomic drive in return for a lifting of sanctions, but has repeatedly warned against US “infiltration” of the values of Iranian society.