Iran hostage crisis
The Iran hostage crisis, was a diplomatic crisis between Iran and the United States. Fifty-two American diplomats and citizens were held hostage for 444 days (November 4, 1979, to January 20, 1981), after a group of Iranian students, belonging to the Muslim Student Followers of the Imam's Line, who were supporting the Iranian Revolution, took over the U.S. Embassy in Tehran. President Jimmy Carter called the hostages ""victims of terrorism and anarchy,"" adding that ""the United States will not yield to blackmail.""The crisis was described by the western media as an ""entanglement"" of ""vengeance and mutual incomprehension."" In Iran, the hostage taking was widely seen as a blow against the United States and its influence in Iran, its perceived attempts to undermine the Iranian Revolution, and its longstanding support of the recently overthrown Shah of Iran, Mohammad Reza Pahlavi, who had led a totalitarian regime with American support.Following his overthrow in 1979, the Shah was admitted to the U.S. for medical treatment of cancer. The Iranians demanded that the Shah be returned to Iran for trial and execution for crimes he was accused of committing during his reign. Specifically, they accused the Shah of crimes against Iranian citizens with the help of his secret police, the SAVAK. Iranians saw the asylum granted by the U.S. as American complicity in the atrocities the Shah had committed. In the United States, the hostage-taking was seen as an egregious violation of the principles of international law which granted diplomats immunity from arrest and diplomatic compounds' inviolability.The hostage crisis reached a climax when, after failed attempts to negotiate a release of the hostages, the United States military attempted a rescue operation using ships including the USS Nimitz and USS Coral Sea that were patrolling the waters near Iran. On April 24, 1980, Operation Eagle Claw failed, resulting in the deaths of eight American servicemen, one Iranian civilian, and the destruction of two aircraft. Recently published documents dated two weeks before the hostage operation show that although National Security Advisor Zbigniew Brzezinski discussed with his staff about a possible American invasion of Iran by using Turkish bases and territory if the Soviets would decide to repeat Afghanistan scenario in Iran, this plan did not materialize.The Shah left the United States in December 1979 and was ultimately granted asylum in Egypt, where he died from complications of cancer on July 27, 1980. In September of 1980, the military of Iraq invaded Iran, marking the beginning of the Iran-Iraq War. These events led the Iranian government to enter negotiations with the U.S., with Algeria acting as mediator. The hostages were formally released into United States custody the day after the signing of the Algiers Accords, just minutes after the new American president, Ronald Reagan, was sworn into office.Considered a pivotal episode in the history of Iran–United States relations, political analysts cite the crisis as having weighed heavily on Jimmy Carter's presidency and run for reelection in the 1980 presidential election. In Iran, the crisis strengthened the prestige of the Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini and the political power of those who supported theocracy and opposed any normalization of relations with the West. The crisis also marked the beginning of U.S. legal action resulting in economic sanctions against Iran, further weakening ties between Iran and the United States.