ABC News reports from Iran this week, digging into a changing country few Americans understand.
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Today marks 34 years since Iranian students stormed the U.S. Embassy in Iran and took 52 Americans hostage, holding them for 444 days.
This week, ABC News was given unprecedented access to the site. ABC News correspondent Muhammad Lila (@MuhammadLila) tweeted from what Iranians now call the "Den of Spies."
Incredible. We're being allowed inside former US Embassy compound, seized in 1979 by Iranian students. More to come... #ReallyInsideIran— Muhammad Lila (@MuhammadLila) November 3, 2013
The compound is covered in anti-U.S. graffiti and murals.
Iran has preserved parts of the embassy and loads of original materials seized during the embassy takover. Some exhibits emphasize the compound's previous intelligence capabilities.
Original steel/safe door marking entrance to intel section of compound still in place. "Glass room" preventing eavesdropping still in tact— Muhammad Lila (@MuhammadLila) November 3, 2013
Famous "glass room" was allegedly espionage-proof, incl. wax replica of last US Ambassador (at the back) pic.twitter.com/HjjAaequwD— Muhammad Lila (@MuhammadLila) November 4, 2013
Lila spoke with Iranians in the compound, who revealed their countrymen's sometimes complex views toward the United States.
Inside Embassy, conspiracy theories alive and well. Even blame US for 9/11. Anti-American, but one student says wants to study in US.— Muhammad Lila (@MuhammadLila) November 3, 2013
Ppl in embassy say no hostility to American ppl, but anti-US murals, doormats made of US flag, send different msg.— Muhammad Lila (@MuhammadLila) November 3, 2013