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Old 11-04-2019, 01:35 PM
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Angry The real reason for the Iran hostage crisis, 40 years later

The real reason for the Iran hostage crisis, 40 years later
By: Michael Rubin - AEI & Washington Examiner - 11-4-19

On Nov. 4, 1979, radical Iranian students seized the U.S. Embassy in Tehran, ultimately holding 52 American diplomats hostage for 444 days. I covered the incident in detail in Dancing with the Devil, a history of U.S. diplomacy with rogue regimes, utilizing not only American sources but Iranian ones as well. Bottom line, the reason why the hostage crisis occurred, and why it lasted so long was a tragedy of errors.

Too often, the Islamic Revolution and the embassy seizure are conflated in the American mind, but the reality is they occurred more than nine months apart. It is essential to understand why Iranian radicals attacked the embassy in November 1979 rather than the previous February when revolutionary leader Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini returned and ended the shah’s rule.

The immediate spark presaging the revolution was an ill-timed handshake.

Visiting Algiers on Nov. 1, 1979, President Jimmy Carter’s national security adviser Zbigniew Brzezinski met Mehdi Bazargan, revolutionary Iran’s prime minister, at an Algerian independence day reception, and politely told Bazargan that the United States was open to any relationship the Islamic Republic wanted. A photographer snapped a photo of the two shaking hands. The day after newspapers published photographs of the Brzezinski-Bazargan handshake, protests rocked Iran, culminating in the sacking of the embassy, as conspiracy-addled Iranian students sought to prevent Bazargan from betraying a revolution built, in part, on anti-Americanism.

Advocates of rapprochement often describe diplomacy as a no-cost strategy. But embraced too enthusiastically, as Brzezinski did when he approached Bazargan, the costs can be high.

Forgotten in the fog of events, however, is the fact that the students seizing the embassy did not expect to remain for more than a day or two. What transformed the crisis into something that paralyzed America for more than a year and ultimately brought down the Carter presidency was Carter’s knee-jerk reluctance to utilize military force coupled with his National Security Council Iran aide’s loose lips.

Avoiding military action might have been wise. Iran was a huge country, the U.S. was initially unprepared for any military action, and saving the hostages’ lives was paramount. Carter, however, took military action completely off the table. Then Gary Sick, a National Security Council official, leaked wordthat there would be no military contingency plans. When Iranian hostage-takers saw they would pay no immediate price for their actions, they stuck their heels in and rapidly expanded their demands.

The rest is history. No one wants endless wars, but removing the threat of military force in response to outrage does not promote reconciliation; rather, it retrenches enmity.

To this day, no Islamic Republic official, hard-line or so-called reformist, has apologized for shredding such basic norms of diplomacy as seizing the embassy — not even “Dialogue of Civilizations’” proponent Mohammad Khatami. Not John Kerry’s favorite interlocutor, Mohammad Javad Zarif.

While the Iranian embassy on Massachusetts Avenue in Washington, D.C., remains vacant but well-cared for, Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps continues to occupy the American property in Tehran, transforming it into a base of operations and a museum for anti-American propaganda.

Perhaps it is time for liberals and European diplomats who lament the fact that U.S.-Iran relations seemingly continue to deteriorate to stop blaming Washington. Instead, whatever the bilateral litany of grievances both capitals can cite, the fact that Iran not only attacked America’s embassy but also continues to occupy it suggests that its antipathy to international norms and the framework of diplomacy remain unreformed.


Personal note: Ya know after read this I got pissed off! Why you ask! Number one they took our people prisoner. Carter worked his deal to get our people out of the Embassy.
But now to know that those people are using our embassy for a headquarters and a museum really erk's me. We should have (once our people were out of there) came back and bombed the piss out of that building. Rather then having them use it as a political item of their own benefit. I never like Iran they are hostile and terrorist even to this day.
And knowing they our property really - really is disgusting!!! Am I wrong or what!!!?
Once our people were out of there I would've bombed the hell out of that building rather that hear today they occupy it like a trophy! HMMMMMMMMM it makes mad!!!


O Almighty Lord God, who neither slumberest nor sleepest; Protect and assist, we beseech thee, all those who at home or abroad, by land, by sea, or in the air, are serving this country, that they, being armed with thy defence, may be preserved evermore in all perils; and being filled with wisdom and girded with strength, may do their duty to thy honour and glory; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

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