1979 hostage crisis: Iran’s long history of antagonism
Now, almost four decades later, the anniversary of the embassy takeover coincides with a fresh round of economic sanctions to be imposed on the Islamic republic. The sanctions follow the US withdrawal from the 2015 international agreement on Iran’s nuclear program, and will hit Iran’s shipping, finance and energy sectors.
In 1979, the American hostages were seized by Iranian students demanding the extradition of Iran’s ruler, Shah Mohammed Reza Pahlavi, who was in the US receiving treatment for cancer (he had fled from Iran to Egypt in January). The issue escalated rapidly after the storming of the embassy. The following day Iran ended military treaties with the US and the Soviet Union, which allowed for military intervention. Then, on Nov. 6, Ayatollah Khomeini took power.
“The hostage crisis was the first time the American public acquired a negative view of Iran,” Mark Katz, professor of government and politics at the Schar School of Policy and Government at George Mason University, said this week.
“Of course, many Iranians had long had a negative view of the US, stemming from the 1953 Mossadegh episode (the overthrow of Iran’s prime minister) and the subsequent US support for the shah. I well remember how Iranian students frequently demonstrated against the shah’s regime and US support for it during the 1970s.”
Matters worsened when US president Jimmy Carter sent former attorney general Ramsey Clark and Senate Intelligence Committee staff director William Miller to Iran on Nov. 7 to negotiate the release of the hostages, and Khomeini refused to meet with them. One week later, Iranian assets in US banks were frozen — the first of many restrictions on the Islamic republic.
“The hostage crisis had a profound effect on American views of Iran,” Katz said. “Before the Iranian revolution, Iran was seen as an ally; afterwards it was seen as unremittingly hostile and even irrational. This was partly because most Americans had no notion of Iranian grievances against the US.”
On Nov. 19 and 20, women and African-American hostages were freed, leaving 53 Americans captive in the embassy. Although the United Nations had passed a resolution in early December 1979 calling for Iran to release the hostages, President Carter cut diplomatic ties with Iran in April 1980, imposing more sanctions and ordering all Iranian diplomats to leave the US.
Read More: Arab News
Iran Briefing | News Press Focus on Human Rights Violation by IRGC, Iran Human Rights
Feb 23, 2019 Comments Off on Washington Post reporter’s memoir recounts imprisonment in Iran
Feb 23, 2019 Comments Off on Iran starts Gulf war games, to test submarine-launched missiles
Feb 20, 2019 Comments Off on Iran’s Rouhani says U.S. sanctions are ‘terrorist act’
Nov 10, 2018 Comments Off on U.S. must prepare for escalation of Iranian cyber attacks, experts say
Jun 18, 2019 Comments Off on IRGC chief says Iran’s ballistic missiles capable of hitting ‘carriers in the sea’
Jun 18, 2019 Comments Off on US releases new images from suspected attacks on Gulf tankers
Jun 18, 2019 Comments Off on Iran claims it dealt ‘heavy blow’ to US ‘spy network’
Jun 18, 2019 Comments Off on Pentagon readies ‘contingency plans’ for Iran amid heightened tensions
Jun 18, 2019 Comments Off on IRGC chief says Iran’s ballistic missiles capable of hitting ‘carriers in the sea’IRGC chief says Iran’s ballistic missiles capable of hitting ‘carriers in the sea’ The commander of Iran’s elite Revolutionary Guards Corps said on Tuesday that Iran’s ballistic missiles were...
Jun 18, 2019 Comments Off on US releases new images from suspected attacks on Gulf tankersUS releases new images from suspected attacks on Gulf tankers Pentagon says pictures show Iran’s IRGC removing an unexploded mine from a Japanese-owned tanker. The US military has released new images it said...
Mar 27, 2019 Comments Off on U.S. sanctions firms accused of helping fund Iran’s Revolutionary GuardsU.S. sanctions firms accused of helping fund Iran’s Revolutionary Guards U.S. sanctions firms accused of helping fund Iran’s Revolutionary Guards The United States on Tuesday imposed fresh sanctions on a network of companies and people in Iran, Turkey and the United Arab Emirates it...