Iran Hostages Ayatollah Khomeini

Iran Hostages Ayatollah Khomeini

Iran Hostages Ayatollah Khomeini

What’s an Iran?

Iran Hostages Ayatollah Khomeini

Like Vietnam the decade before, Americans may have heard of  Iran in 1978, but where exactly it was and what was happening there were likely unknown.

Oh, you mean Persia?

Iran Hostages Ayatollah Khomeini

In our World History classes we’d heard about the ancient country and civilization of Persia and we might have even recognized the name of Cyrus the Great, one of Persia’s great leaders. Our Sunday School teachers may have pointed out that Cyrus liberated the Jews.

Whatever our level of knowledge was, in late 1978 Americans media reported that in Iran…

Iran Hostages Ayatollah Khomeini

Revolution begins

On November 26, 1978 Muslim religious leaders and politicians seeking to topple the Shah of Iran called a general strike that virtually paralyzed the country and by December anti-Shah protesters poured through Tehran chanting “Allah is great.”

December 11, 1978: massive demonstrations took place in Tehran against the Shah. In Isfahan, Iran, 40 people were killed and 60 wounded during riots against the Shah.

Iran Hostages Ayatollah Khomeini

Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi

Iran Hostages Ayatollah Khomeini

January 16, 1979:  Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi of Iran fled Iran with his family, relocating to Egypt.

Reza Khan, the Shah’s father, had come to power in 1921 and Pahlavi had succeeded him in 1941.

Iran Hostages Ayatollah Khomeini

Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini

February 1, 1979: Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini returned to Tehran, Iran after 14 years in exile due to his opposition to the Shah’s dynasty. Within nine days his followers seized power in Iran.

Kidnappings

February 14, 1979: In Kabul,Afghanistan, Muslim extremists kidnapped the American ambassador to Afghanistan, Adolph Dubs, who was later killed during a gunfight between his kidnappers and police. (NYT article)

Iran Hostages Ayatollah Khomeini

By April 1, 1979, Iran had been a monarchy ruled by an emperor almost without interruption from 1501, officially became an Islamic republic.

Iran Hostages Ayatollah Khomeini

US intervention

October 20, 1979: the U.S. government allowed the deposed Shah of Iran to travel to New York for medical treatment.

Iran Hostages Ayatollah Khomeini

Americans taken hostage 

Iran Hostages Ayatollah Khomeini

November 4, 1979: Iran hostage crisis begins. 3,000 Iranian radicals, mostly students, invaded the U.S. Embassy in Tehran and took 90 hostages (53 of whom are American). They demanded that the United States send the former Shah of Iran back to stand trial. (1981 NYT article about events that led up to hostage taking)

November 12, 1979: in response to the hostage situation in Tehran, U.S. President Jimmy Carter ordered a halt to all oil imports into the United States from Iran. Two days later, Carter issued Executive Order 12170, freezing all Iranian assets in the United States and U.S. banks in response to the hostage crisis.

Iran Hostages Ayatollah Khomeini

Some hostages freed

November 17, 1979: Iranian leader Ruhollah Khomeini ordered the release of 13 female and African American hostages being held at the U.S. Embassy in Tehran. (NYT article)

Iran Hostages Ayatollah Khomeini

Some escape

January 28, 1980: six United States diplomats, posing as Canadians, managed to escaped from Tehran, Iran as they boarded a flight to Zürich, Switzerland. (NYT article)

April 7, 1980: the US severs diplomatic relations with Iran and imposes economic sanctions.

Iran Hostages Ayatollah Khomeini

Failed rescue attempt

Iran Hostages Ayatollah Khomeini

April 24, 1980: an American military aborted rescue mission in Iran after mechanical problems ground the helicopters. Eight United States troops are killed in a mid-air collision during the failed operation. (NYT article)

July 27, 1980: Mohammad Reza Pahlavi, deposed Shah of Iran, died in Cairo. (NYT article)

Iran Hostages Ayatollah Khomeini

Ronald Reagan

November 4, 1980: Ronald Reagan defeated incumbent President Jimmy Carter.

December 24, 1980: Americans remembered the U.S. hostages in Iran by burning candles or shining lights for 417 seconds — one second for each day of captivity

. Iran Hostages Ayatollah Khomeini

Iran Hostages Ayatollah Khomeini

Agreement

January 19, 1981: the United States and Iran signed an agreement paving the way for the release of 52 Americans held hostage for more than 14 months.

Iran Hostages Ayatollah Khomeini

January 20, 1981: Iran released the 52 Americans held for 444 days within minutes of Ronald Reagan’s inauguration ending the Iran hostage crisis.

Iran Hostages Ayatollah Khomeini

January 30, 1981: an estimated 2 million New Yorkers turned out for a ticker-tape parade honoring the freed American hostages from Iran.

June 3, 1989: Ayatollah Khomeini died in Tehran. (NYT article)

Iran Hostages Ayatollah Khomeini

Iran Hostages Ayatollah Khomeini

 

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