News broke this week that Tehran’s municipal government had ordered the removal of some anti-U.S. billboards in the Iranian capital. The posters, which appear to criticize government nuclear negotiations with Washington, carry the slogan, “The U.S. Government Styles Honesty,” and feature an American and Iranian official at the negotiating table, with the American hiding an attack dog beneath the table.
Municipal officials, naturally, said the billboards were put up illegally and therefore removed. But as the move comes at a time of unprecedented diplomatic gestures from newly elected leader Hassan Rouhani and just ahead of the November 4 anniversary of the seizure of the U.S. embassy in 1979—which Iranians typically commemorate with anti-American protests—observers suspect there’s more to the order than just some city bureaucratic muscle-flexing.
Hardliners are vowing to resurrect the billboards by next month. But if Iran is really turning away from billboards baiting the Great Satan, it marks the end of a long, illustrious run of streetscape propaganda.
Here’s a sampling of 34 years of Tehran’s most memorable anti-American art.