We should not forget that most sanctions and economic pressures were imposed on Iran during the time of Clinton," Rowhani said. "And we should not forget that during Bush's era -- despite his hard-line and baseless rhetoric against Iran -- he didn't take, in practical terms, any dangerous action against Iran."
The United States severed diplomatic relations with Iran after militants stormed the U.S. Embassy in Tehran in 1979 and held 52 Americans hostage for 444 days. Iranian clerics were crucial in determining the fate of the 1980 U.S. election when Republican Ronald Reagan won in part because Democratic incumbent Jimmy Carter was unable to secure the hostages' release.
The hostages were freed as Reagan was inaugurated.
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