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Tehran Municipality pulls down anti-US campaign

tehranTehran’s municipality has torn down billboards in the Iranian capital depicting the U.S. government as dishonest and an untrustworthy negotiator, saying the campaign was “unauthorized,” the official Islamic Republic News Agency reported.

A cultural institute installed the posters without seeking consent from the municipality’s cultural council, IRNA cited Hadi Ayazi, a municipal spokesman, as saying yesterday. Ayazi didn’t say who was responsible.

Billboards in Farsi and English with the slogan, “U.S.- Style Honesty,” emerged in recent days showing an Iranian negotiator sitting at the table, facing his American counterpart. In some posters the American character is wearing military fatigues and holding a shotgun under the table; in others he has a Doberman on a leash.

The campaign follows Iranian President Hassan Rouhani’s attempts to ease tensions with the U.S. and the resumption of nuclear negotiations this month between Iran and world powers, which diplomats involved have described as constructive.

Rouhani’s government has come under attack by some Iranian political figures over his Sept. 27 phone call with President Barack Obama, the highest-level encounter between the two governments in decades. Next month marks the 34th anniversary of the seizing of the U.S. embassy by militant students, and the timing of the billboard campaign signals resistance in some quarters to any plan to re-establish ties with the U.S. severed then.-Bloomberg