Iranians Depict American 'Den of Spies'

From the outside, the U.S. Embassy in Tehran looks much like it did in 1979, except for the rotor of the U.S. helicopter that crashed in the desert during the failed rescue of the 52 American hostages held there for 444 days a quarter century ago.

Inside is a museum of what the director, Majid, called "America's ongoing crimes."

Rare Glimpse

Although it was turned into a museum long ago, TV cameras have rarely been allowed in. But it recently was renovated, which may explain why Iranians proudly showed ABC News what they now call the "den of spies."

Souvenirs seized by the hostage-takers are antiques now -- including old computers and circuitry, a device to destroy documents, and a massive code machine from the National Security Agency.

One of the central exhibits here is what they call the "glassy room" for top-secret meetings. Majid said it is set up more or less how they found it when the American spies operated here -- though he said they removed the green velvet drapes and added mannequins to depict one of the alleged secret meetings.

'No Relationship With America'

There are not many visitors to the museum. Most that came when ABC News visited did not want to share their impressions.

"We have no relationship with America now, so it's better," one visitor said.

Although this museum has been around in some form since the hostages were released, it has been updated to include derogatory pictures of George Bush, shown drowning in one depiction along with Israel's Ariel Sharon.

There is a new exhibit on the war in Iraq and the mistreatment of Iraqis at Abu Ghraib prison.

Majid says his hope is that the United States and Iran eventually will become friends and museums like this one day won't exist.

ABC News' Bob Woodruff originally reported this story for "World News Tonight" on Feb. 12, 2005.