Iran's Grand Poobah wants Americans to think "Death to America" is just a figure of speech
TEHRAN, Iran (AP) — The slogan "Death to America" is not aimed at the American people, but rather American policies, Iran's supreme leader said in comments reported on his official website Tuesday.
Ayatollah Ali Khamenei discussed the slogan while meeting with Iranian students ahead of the anniversary of the takeover of the U.S. Embassy in Tehran on Nov. 4, 1979. Militant students stormed the compound and took 52 Americans hostage for 444 days.
The two countries have had no diplomatic relations since then. However, current President Hassan Rouhani has made efforts to improve relations, including a landmark nuclear agreement reached with world powers this past summer.