The Historic Security Council
The question of dealing with the Iran Hostage Crisis- April 1980
In July 1979, revolutionaries forced the Iranian Shah Mohammed Reza Shah Palavi to renounce his regime. The Shah had been favoured by the Western powers despite the fact that many people were tortured and murdered by his secret police, the ‘SAVAK’. Furthermore, a lot of money was spent on American weapons, which caused the economy to suffer. Thus, angered Iranians saw hope in Ayatollah Khomeini, a radical cleric who promised them more autonomy. After the Shah was ousted in 1979, Khomeini installed a fundamentalist Islamic government instead. When President Carter allowed the Shah to enter the US for cancer treatment in 1979, Iranians feared further American interference in their government and, subsequently, pro-Ayatollah students invaded the American embassy in Tehran and seized 66 hostages on November 4, 1979. Fourteen of the hostages - women, African-American, and those who were not American - were released. Several rescue operations were attempted, most notably Operation Eagle Claw on April 24 1980, but the remaining 52 Americans were held hostage for a total of 444 days until January 20 1981, when they were released to US personnel.
The Historic Security Council will be held in April 1980, as this was the time span during which Operation Eagle Claw occurred, which was a key event in the negotiations and the crisis as a whole.