For the hostages at the U.S. Embassy here, the Fourth of July simply marked the beginning of the ninth month of their captivity with no prospects for an early delivery from their ordeal.
Ironically, the anniversary of the American revolution today coincided with the first major demonstration called in months in the name of religious leader Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini to support the Islamic revolution. The hostages were not mentioned in a 16-point manifesto presented at the rally.
A few thousand people simply marched past the embassy on the way to the demonstration chanting "Death to the U.S." without much enthusiasm.
The hostages have moved out of the limelight here just as in the United States, and for a similar reason -- neither government seems able to do anything about their plight right now.
No outsiders have seen the hostages since the unsuccessful U.S. rescue attempt in April and many of them reportedly have been moved to other cities.
For months the hostage issue was at the center of Iranian politics as the outpouring of anti-Americanism involved in discussing their fate preoccupied and stalled formation of a government.
Nobody in authority is willing to move on the issue without the approval of Khomeini who has bucked the decision over to the parliament, which is still being organized.
Khomeini, who has supreme authority and often uses his powers to divide those below him, has moved on to other issues in his attempt to revitalize the flagging revolution.
Today's manifesto presented at rallies across the country attended by hundreds of thousands called for dissolution of some leftist groups, purging of officials who were part of the regime of the ousted shah and the adoption of conservative Islamic dress by all Iranian women.
The deteriorating state of Iran's economy and mounting unemployment was not mentioned although these problems have led to increased criticism of interim government and even, privately, of Khomeini.
Western diplomats have noted that there is not much political mileage left right now in the issue of the hostage, but settlement of disputes must go through the slow procedures required for the formation of the parliament and the selection of a prime minister.
Ayatollah Mohammed Beheshti, the leader of the hard-line clerical Islamic Repubican Party and an opponent of President Abol Hassan Bani-Sadr, said at a press conference this week that the parliament would be in place and a prime minister would be named by the week of July 14.
Typical of the shifting deadlines in the crisis, however, he hedged and added another week to the chronology later in the day after a meeting of the Revolutionary Council, which acts as a temporary executive and legislature in the absence of a formal government.
In recent months, the terms for the release of the hostages have shifted from the original emphasis on return to Iran for trial of the deposed shah, who had a third serious operation this week, and distribution of his wealth.
Beheshti, who has often used the hostage issue to thwart Bani-Sadr's attempt to form a government, said Wednesday: "I don't think the fate of the hostages depends on the life of the shah because the main purpose in this process was an actual statement on the crimes of the government of the United States in relation to Iran in the last 25 years.
"At any rate, this problem should be resolved in its own method and style," the leader of the largest party in the parliament added in a statement that hardly implied quick action.
Once the American election campaign heats up in September, any trial of the hostages would be difficult for President Carter to accept, so diplomats feels that the best chance for a solution is in the next two months.
A new roadblock looms, however. Ramadan, the holiest month in the Islamic calendar, begins July 14. During the month of mourning intended to "burn away sin," Moslems are not supposed to eat or drink anything from sunrise to sunset.
Coming this year during the middle of the summer when the temperature in Iran ususally rises above 90 degrees every day, Ramadan is bound to slow down activity.
Outside the embassy today it was impossible to see any activity or people on the grounds or in the building. From all outward appearances the site is poorly guarded with only two sandbags positioned along the embassy wall manned by two Revolutionary Guards sitting in plastic chairs. Other armed guards patrol sporadically.
An Iranian touch has been added to the entrance with the addition of strings of colored lights. Nearby is a sign in large letters saying: "Viva Khomeini, Death to Carter."