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Anti-U.S. billboards ordered taken down in Tehran

By Greg Botelho, CNN
updated 11:05 AM EDT, Sun October 27, 2013
A military truck with a banner against the USA during a military parade in Tehran on September 22.
A military truck with a banner against the USA during a military parade in Tehran on September 22.
  • Billboards with anti-U.S. slogans are collected in Iranian capital, state news reports
  • Those who put them didn't have permission from Tehran authorities, spokesman says
  • This comes amid a thaw in U.S.-Iran relations, though tension and differences remain

(CNN) -- Anti-American sentiment is nothing new in Iran. But what about government officials ordering that billboards expressing such views be taken down?

That's what is happening in Tehran, where billboards bearing anti-U.S. slogans were collected, according to the state-run Islamic Republic News Agency.

Hadi Ayazi, a spokesman for Tehran municipality, told reporters that a cultural institute had installed the billboards without the consent of Tehran municipality's cultural council, IRNA reports.

The move comes during a seeming thaw in U.S.-Iran relations, amid ongoing talks over the latter's nuclear program. U.S. President Barack Obama and Iranian Hassan Rouhani have even exchanged letters, with both signaling openness to further improvement.

The human cost of Iranian sanctions

Still, like the stringent U.S.-led sanctions imposed on Iran, the animosity and tension aren't entirely gone.

On the same English-language front page of IRNA, for instance, there was a story in which Ali Larijani, speaker of Iran's Parliament, criticized "some talkative creatures" in U.S. politics for criticizing Iran and its involvement in a possible political solution in Syria.

Iran will participate in upcoming Syria talks -- if invited

Nuclear group: Time Iran would need to make uranium for a bomb 'too short'

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