The Iran Hostage Crisis Essay

1755 Words8 Pages
In January 1979, Iranians opposed to the Shah’s rule invaded the American embassy in Tehran and held a group of 52 American diplomats and other hostages for 444 days. The Shah left Iran and the victorious Ayatollah Khomeini returned that February. Of the approximately 90 people inside the embassy, 52 remained in captivity until the end of the crisis. The reputation of the Ayatollah Khomeini and the hostage taking was further enhanced with the failure of a hostage rescue attempt that cost lives. The Ayatollah Khomeini set forth several demands to be met prior to the release of the hostages. The US had options of their own; however, the risk to the hostages required the utmost consideration. In order to secure their freedom, outgoing…show more content…
Furthermore, the Shah purchased billions of dollars worth of weapons of security from the US. In 1979 the realm was overthrown by extreme Islam’s that were followers of Ayatollah Khomeini. The intention of the Iranian students was to display their displeasure against the Shah. Their demand was the return of the Shah for a trial followed by his death. In addition, they asked that the US stay out of their country’s affairs. Carter’s approach required the safeguarding of American hostages but also guaranteed an alliance with Iran. Carter’s tactics on the situation had devastating effects on his run for re-election (Hamilton, 1982).
The holding of hostages continued for month’s event after the death of the Shah. Throughout their captivity, the hostages were paraded in front of the media. Though the hostage takers were not members of the Iranian government or military, their allegiance to Khomeini and the Islamic government shaped a worldwide crisis. Wikipedia, Hector Villalon and Christian Bourget began the initial negotiations for the release of the hostages. They “delivered a formal request to Panama for extradition of the Shah” which was "a pretext to cover secret negotiations to free the American hostages." This happened as the Soviets invaded Iran's neighbor Afghanistan an event America hoped would "illustrate the threat" of its superpower neighbor and need for better relations with the
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