The Iran Hostage Crisis was a difficult 444 day period in American and Iranian History. This event in instilled panic, terror, and hatred in America and Iran. This event in time began on November 4, 1979, but the hatred between Iran and America began many years before this event ever occured. The problems between these two countries began when The United States helped overthrow the elected Iranian Prime Minister Mohammad Mosaddegh. The U.
S then proceeded to replace him with Dictator Muhammad Reza Shah Pahlavi, in August of 1953. The Shah was hated by Iranians because he was a brutal ruler and had a brutal secret police. That secret police force later on open fired at citizens on the streets, killing hundreds of people and left many injured, he then proceeded to flee Iran. Shortly after The Shah left Iran, never to return. A religious leader named Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini came into power and established a new government in March of 1979. This new government made it illegal to show any type of affection toward America.
This event of a new leader and new government in Iran was known as The Iranian Revolution. Months after The Shah left Iran, he went to many foreign countries before being diagnosed with cancer. He then was granted permission to come to America to receive medical treatment in New York on October 22, 1979. The Iranian Revolutionaries became heated that President of The United States James Earl “Jimmy” Carter Jr. allowed The Shah in for treatment, considering he had killed and injured so many Iranians. This led the Revolutionaries to riot outside of The US Embassy in Tehran, Iran in 1979. The Iran crowd were so infuriated that they began to scale the walls on the Embassy, resulting in the capture of 63 American hostages. They then continued to take hostage 3 more American people after invading the Iranian Foreign Ministry.
This brought the total of American hostages to 66. This event came to be known as the beginning to The Iran hostage Crisis. The Iranian Hostage Crisis at the beginning started with 66 Americans captive, but afterwards, Ayatollah demanded the release of 13 hostages due to them being children, women, and being citizens of countries other than the U.S on November 17, 1979. Later on the revolutionaries had to release one more hostage due to medical reasons, leaving 52 hostages in captivity for the rest of the time the crisis continued. The hostages were held captive in the Embassy Complex that they had been taken hostage in.
Although the hostages that were held in captivity were never killed, the hostages were tortured. Some of the torturing that the hostages endured included being beaten with rubber hoses, being hung above empty elevator shafts, and some men were paraded through the streets of Iran blindfolded to practice mock killings. The President of The United States Jimmy Carter launched a rescue mission called Operation Eagle Claw in April of 1980. This operation failed due to weather and mechanical failure. After Khomeini learned about the failed mission launched by the US, he had the revolutionaries move the hostages to several secret locations in many cities. Aswell, Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini realized how large and popular this crisis was among his people and did not attempt to stop it.
After Jimmy Carter became aware of the movement of the hostages and Khomeini’s feelings toward the crisis, he issued an embargo on Iranian oil and froze the Iranian assets. During this crisis americans tied yellow ribbons to tree trucks and other items throughout the US to commemorate the hostages taken in this crisis. During this crisis Jimmy Carter was in an election year against competitor Ronald Reagan. During the campaigns Ronald Reagan made a statement telling his belief that Jimmy Carter was being weak and ineffective while dealing with The Iran Hostage Crisis. In the Fall of 1980 The Shah passed away due to cancer complications.
Later in September of 1980 Iran learned about The Shah’s passing and agreed to begin renegotiating the release of the 52 American hostages this was the first step of the into a compromise between the two countries. On November 4, 1980 Ronald Reagan won the election against Jimmy Carter. This was a huge turning point for american history because we would have a new president and Iran would be more willing to cooperate with Americans. The next year on January 20, 1981 Ronald Reagan gave his inaugural address. Within a couple hours after Reagan was sworn into office the 52 hostages were placed on a plane which left Iran and went to a U.
S. Army base in Germany. This difficult 444 day long period came to be known today as The Iran Hostage Crisis.