Share This Post With Friens

Major event in US history – Iran hostage crisis

Date: November 4, 1979 – January 20, 1981

Location: Iran Tehrani

Participants: Iran United States

Major Events: Canadian Caper

Prominent people: Joe Clarke, Ruhollah Khomeini, Hamilton Jordan and Ken Taylor

Major event in US history - Iran hostage crisis
photo credit – wikipedia

key question

  1. What was the incident of Iran hostage crisis?
  2. How was the Iranian hostage crisis resolved?
  3. During which US President did the Iran hostage crisis happen?

what was the iranian hostage crisis

The incident took place in Iran when militants broke into the US embassy in Tehran, Iran, and took 66 American citizens hostage. This incident took place in the valley during 1979-81. It was an astonishing crisis in which the militants held 52 American hostages for more than a year. While 13 hostages had already been released.

     This hostage incident in Iran took place due to the chaos arising from the Islamic Revolution 1978-79. The Iranian militants wanted to gain international support to overthrow the Pahlavi monarchy. The event had a dramatic effect on the domestic politics of the United States and poisoned US-Iranian relations for decades.

 The Iranian Revolution

           The Iranian Revolution turned the relationship between America and Iran into a permanent enmity that has not normalized till date. The incident was to be attributed to the support of the US to bring the deposed Iranian ruler, Mohammad Reza Shah Pahlavi, back to power. The actions of the US administration had created deep suspicion and hostility among Iran’s revolutionary leaders, both from the left and the right of the political spectrum.

       Beginning in the fall of 1978, the US embassy in Tehran was the center of frequent demonstrations by Iranians who protested the US presence in the country, and on February 14, 1979, nearly a month after the Shah had fled Iran, the US The embassy was attacked and briefly captured.

     The US embassy suffered this attack, during which many of its employees were killed and some were injured, but Iran was on the verge of a major revolutionary change, which marked the beginning of a new US hostage crisis in Iran. In the U.S., embassy staff were cut off before the revolution, out of more than 1,400 men and women, about 70 civilians. In addition, there were attempts to reach a modus vivendi with the Provisional Government of Iran, and during this spring and summer Iranian officials sought to strengthen security around the US embassy compound.

American in October 1979. The State Department was informed that the deposed Iranian monarch was in critical condition and needed medical treatment that his allies claimed was the best medicine available in the United States; American officials, in turn, informed the Iranian prime minister, Mehdi Bajrangan, of the Shah’s imminent arrival on American soil.

         In light of the February attacks, Bajrang guaranteed the security of the US embassy and its staff. On 22 October, Shah reached New York City, USA. Initial public reaction in Iran was not much, but on 4 November the embassy was attacked by a crowd of perhaps 3,000 Iranians, some of whom were armed, who took 63 American citizens (male and female) hostage after a short siege. took.

 US embassy staff held hostage by Iranian militants

    In addition to the US diplomatic staff, three members were actually captured from the Iranian Foreign Ministry. Within the next few days, the U.S. Jimmy Carter from countries other than the President’s representative and diplomats in Tehran tried to free the hostages but failed. A US delegation led by former US Attorney General Ramsey Clark to resolve the hostage crisis – which had longstanding ties with many Iranian officials – was denied entry into Iran.

There was a political conflict going on in Tehran (the capital of Iran) at the time – between the Islamic right-wing and secular leftists and between various personalities within Muslim organizations around the revolutionary leader Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini – and the hostages actually arose as a result of this dispute. Was caught due to deadlock. It soon became clear that no one was willing or able to release the hostages in the highly anti-American environment of post-revolutionary Iran. Most of the hostages were likely supporters of Khomeini – whose failure to order the release of the hostages led Bjargen to resign as premier on 6 November – and set a condition for the release of the hostages that, the United States Extradite Shah to Iran.

        On 12 November, Iranian Foreign Minister Abolhassan Bani-Sadr indicated that the United States would stop interfering in Iranian affairs, if the Shah was returned to Iran for trial, and if it was proved that the Shah was in possession. If the property is illegal, the hostages will be released. In response, the United States responded by stating that Iran was free to make financial claims against the Shah in American courts and further declared that it would call for an international commission to investigate alleged human rights abuses under the Shah’s regime. Will support installation; Also, America had a condition that any such action would be taken only when the hostages would be freed.

Major event in US history - Iran hostage crisis
photo credit –

     Taking the hostage crisis seriously, the United States banned Iranian oil purchases, froze billions of dollars in Iranian assets in the United States, and vigorously campaigned against Iranians through international diplomacy during the hostage crisis. started and won the support of many countries and strengthened its position.

       American diplomats twice received United Nations Security Council resolutions (on 4 and 31 December) against Iran’s actions, and on 29 November the United States filed a lawsuit against the Iranian government at the International Court of Justice (which in May held the United States). ruled in favor of) 1980).

        The international community’s sympathies were with the US and all countries against the Iranian capture of the hostages, and diplomats from various countries sought their intervention. The notable event of this hostage crisis occurred on January 28, 1980, when Canadian diplomats helped six American diplomats who had managed to avoid fleeing Iran (the Canadian embassy was later closed).

        Earlier, on November 17, Khomeini ordered the release of 13 hostages, all women or African Americans, on the grounds that they were unlikely to be spies (one hostage who was seriously ill was also released). He was released on July 11, 1980, leaving 52 hostages now). Meanwhile, the Iranians threatened the hostages that they would put them in jail after being tried for various crimes, including espionage. The Iranians were hoping to profit from this threat.

struggle and resolution

Since the beginning of the crisis, the U.S. Military forces began to prepare emergency plans to free the hostages, and by early April 1980 the US administration, which was still hoping for meaningful negotiations, was also exploring a military alternative. Was.

US efforts to solve hostage crisis

       Despite the political turmoil in Iran, the hostages were still held in the embassy compound. On April 24 a small U.S. The task force landed in the desert southeast of Tehran. The task force, from that staging point, had to advance a group of Special Operations soldiers via helicopter to the second rally point, conduct a quick raid of the embassy compound, and deliver the hostages to an airstrip that was previously held by the soldiers. Had to be secured by the team. , who had to fly there directly from outside Iran, the soldiers and hostages then went back by air.

          However, the operation was full of difficulties from the beginning. Of the eight helicopters sent for the operation, two broke down before reaching the first staging area, and the second broke down at the site. Unable to complete its mission, the US military sought a recall, during which one of the remaining helicopters collided with an auxiliary aircraft. Eight American service members were killed, and their bodies were left behind, with these bodies later paraded in front of Iranian television cameras.

          The Carter administration, humiliated by this failed mission and the loss of life, had to make great efforts to bring the bodies back to the United States. Secretary of State Cyrus Vance, who had opposed the mission, resigned in protest. All diplomatic efforts in the hostage crisis had failed, and the hostages were held incommunicado, in new, secret bases.

By May 1980, the United States had convinced its closest allies to impose economic sanctions on Iran. But it was true that sanctions alone were not enough to undermine Iranian resolve. Shah’s death on 27 July deepened the crisis. However, the latter two events raised the possibility of a resolution of the crisis.
       First, Iran finally installed a new government in mid-August, and the Carter administration immediately sought to expand the diplomatic offer.
       Second, on September 22, Iraq invaded Iran. Although the subsequent Iran–Iraq War (1980–88) distracted Iranian officials from hostage talks in the short term, restrictions on the Iranian economy and the country’s ability to deter the Iraqi military continued.

  US embassy staff released

      Similarly, when Iranian Prime Minister Mohammad Ali Rajsi visited the United Nations in October, many world leaders made it clear to him that Iran could not expect support in the Iraq–Iraq conflict unless it called on the U.S.As a result, Iranian officials engaged in talks with renewed vigor. Majestic insisted that there would be no direct talks, and that Algerian diplomats played the role of middlemen during the rest of the process. Negotiations continued in the late 1980s and early 1981, during which time Iranian demands focused mainly on the freeing of frozen Iranian assets and the lifting of trade embargoes. After an agreement was reached, Iran released the hostages on January 20, 1981, minutes after the inauguration of the new US President Ronald Reagan.

Impact of the Iranian hostage crisis on America

     The Iran hostage crisis was a severe blow to American morale and prestige, as was the case after the Vietnam War. In addition to putting an obstacle in the way of U.S.-Iranian relations, it was also widely believed to have contributed to Carter’s defeat by Reagan in the 1980 presidential election. In addition, in the years following the crisis, there were allegations that the Reagan campaign had hindered Carter’s efforts to negotiate an earlier settlement—thus derailing a potential election coup for the Carter campaign—reagan. In an effort to ensure victory. However, that argument has been largely rejected.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *