Argo – Et gisseldrama i Teheran
Posted by Fredsvenn den desember 5, 2012
At first, the students’ plan to only make a symbolic occupation, release statements to the press, and leave when government security forces came to restore order was reflected in placards saying «Don’t be afraid. We just want to set-in». When the embassy guards brandished firearms, the protesters retreated, one telling the Americans, «We don’t mean any harm».
But as it became clear the guards would not use deadly force and that a large angry crowd had gathered outside the compound to cheer the occupiers and jeer the hostages, the occupation changed. According to one embassy staff member, buses full of demonstrators began to appear outside the embassy shortly after the Muslim Student Followers of the Imam’s Line broke through the gates.
As Ayatollah Musavi Khoeyniha had hoped, Khomeini supported the takeover. According to Foreign Minister Ebrahim Yazdi, when he, Yazdi came to Qom to tell the Imam about the incident, Khomeini told the minister to «go and kick them out». But later that evening, back in Tehran, the minister heard on the radio that Imam Khomeini had issued a statement supporting the seizure and calling it «the second revolution», and the embassy an «American spy den in Tehran».
The occupiers bound and blindfolded the embassy Marines and staff and paraded them in front of photographers. In the first couple of days, many of the embassy staff who had snuck out of the compound or not been there at the time of the takeover were rounded up by Islamists and returned as hostages.
Six American diplomats did however avoid capture and found refuge at the nearby Canadian and Swedish embassies in Tehran for three months (Canadian caper). A joint Canadian Government-CIA covert operation managed to smuggle them out of Iran using Canadian passports and a cover story disguising them as a part of a Canadian film crew on January 28, 1980.
Gisselkrisen i Iran var en 444-dager lang periode der den nye regjeringen i Iran etter den iranske revolusjonen holdt fanget 66 diplomater og borgere fra USA. Det er antatt av mange at hendelsen førte til at president Jimmy Carter tapte gjenvalget for en ny periode som president i USA, og at hendelsen satte punktum for den første fundamentalistiske islamske revolusjonen i moderne tid. Den begynte 4. november 1979 og varte til 20. januar 1981.
Sjahens død 27. juli og den irakiske invasjonen av Iran i september 1980 gjorde Iran mer mottagelige for å løse gisselkrisen. I USA tapte Carter i november presidentvalget for Ronald Reagan. De fleste analytikere tror Carters manglende evne til å løse gisselkrisen spilte en betydelig rolle i hans solide nederlag. Ubeviste kontroversielle beskyldninger om at løslatelsen av gislene ble utsatt til etter valget gjennom en ulovlig avtale mellom regjeringen i Iran og Reagan, som var interessert i å unngå det han og hans rådgivere så på som en oktober-overraskelse, dersom gislene ble løslatt rett før valget, kunne dette føre til et løft for Carter.
Kort tid etter valget, åpnet Carter-administrasjonen fruktbare forhandlinger, med assistanse fra mellommenn som den algeriske diplomaten Abdulkarim Ghuraib, mellom USA og Iran. I bytte mot å løse verdiene på $8 milliarder som tilhørte Iran i USA og immunitet fra eventuelle rettssaker, skulle gislene settes fri. Den 20. januar 1981, minutter etter at president Reagan hadde avlagt eden, ble gislene formelt løslatt til amerikansk forvaring, etter å ha tilbrakt 444 dager i fangenskap.
Gislene ble fløyet til Frankfurt am Main luftforsvarsbase i Vest-Tyskland, hvor tidligere president Jimmy Carter, som fungerte som utsending for Reagan-administrasjonen, tok imot dem. Etter medisinske undersøkelser og debriefing tok de en ny flytur til Washington, D.C., hvor de fikk en heltemottagelse. For noen var dette en forlengelse av nasjonens feiring av at Reagan hadde overtatt presidentskapet.
In American political jargon, an October surprise is a news event deliberately created to influence the outcome of an election, particularly one for the U.S. presidency. The reference to the month of October is because the date for national elections (as well as many state and local elections) occurs between November 2 and 8, and therefore events that take place in late October have greater potential to influence the decisions of prospective voters.
During the Iran hostage crisis, the Republican challenger Ronald Reagan feared a last-minute deal to release the hostages, which might earn incumbent Jimmy Carter enough votes to win re-election in the 1980 presidential election. As it happened, in the days prior to the election, press coverage was consumed with the Iranian government’s decision – and Carter’s simultaneous announcement – that the hostages would not be released until after the election.
The crisis has also been described as the «pivotal episode» in the history of Iran–United States relations. In the United States, some political analysts believe the crisis was a major reason for U.S. President Jimmy Carter’s defeat in the November 1980 presidential election. In Iran, the crisis strengthened the prestige of the Ayatollah Khomeini and the political power of those who supported theocracy and opposed any normalization of relations with the West. The crisis also marked the beginning of U.S. legal action, or economic sanctions against Iran, that further weakened economic ties between Iran and the United States.