Timeline of the Iranian hostage crisis

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Iranian students enter U.S. embassy in Tehran. Iran hostage crisis - Iraninan students comes up U.S. embassy in Tehran.jpg
Iranian students enter U.S. embassy in Tehran.
An anti-Iranian protest in Washington, D.C., in 1979. Man holding sign during Iranian hostage crisis protest, 1979.jpg
An anti-Iranian protest in Washington, D.C., in 1979.
Overview of the wreckage at the Iranian Desert after the failed rescue operation by Delta Force, April 1980. Eagle Claw wrecks at Desert One April 1980.jpg
Overview of the wreckage at the Iranian Desert after the failed rescue operation by Delta Force, April 1980.
Americans welcoming the six freed hostage by Canadian diplomats during the Iran hostage crisis, 1980. ThanksCanada.JPG
Americans welcoming the six freed hostage by Canadian diplomats during the Iran hostage crisis, 1980.

This is a timeline of the Iran hostage crisis (1979–1981), starting from the Shah Mohammed Reza Pahlavi's leaving of Iran and return of all hostages to the United States. [1]





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<span class="mw-page-title-main">Iran hostage crisis</span> 1979–1981 diplomatic standoff between the United States and Iran

The Iran hostage crisis was a diplomatic standoff between the United States and Iran. Fifty-two American diplomats and citizens were held hostage after a group of militarized Iranian college students belonging to the Muslim Student Followers of the Imam's Line, who supported the Iranian Revolution, took over the U.S. Embassy in Tehran and took them as hostages. The hostages were held for 444 days, from November 4, 1979 to their release on January 20, 1981. The crisis is considered a pivotal episode in the history of Iran–United States relations.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Iranian Revolution</span> Revolution in Iran from 1978 to 1979

The Iranian Revolution, or the Islamic Revolution, was a series of events that culminated in the overthrow of the Pahlavi dynasty in 1979. The revolution also led to the replacement of the Imperial State of Iran by the present-day Islamic Republic of Iran, as the monarchical government of Mohammad Reza Pahlavi was superseded by the theocratic government of Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, a religious cleric who had headed one of the rebel factions. The ousting of Pahlavi, the last Shah of Iran, formally marked the end of Iran's historical monarchy.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Prime Minister of Iran</span> Former political post in Iran

The prime minister of Iran was a political post that had existed in Iran (Persia) during much of the 20th century. It began in 1906 during the Qajar dynasty and into the start of the Pahlavi dynasty in 1923 and into the 1979 Iranian Revolution before being abolished in 1989.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Ebrahim Yazdi</span> Iranian politician and activist (1931–2017)

Ebrahim Yazdi was an Iranian politician, pharmacist, and diplomat who served as deputy prime minister and minister of foreign affairs in the interim government of Mehdi Bazargan, until his resignation in November 1979, in protest at the Iran hostage crisis. From 1995 until 2017, he headed the Freedom Movement of Iran. Yazdi was also a trained cancer researcher.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Mohammad-Reza Mahdavi Kani</span> Iranian Ayatollah (1931–2014)

Ayatollah Mohammad Reza Mahdavi Kani was an Iranian Shia cleric, writer and conservative and principlist politician who was Acting Prime Minister of Iran from 2 September until 29 October 1981. Before that, he was Minister of Interior in the cabinets of Mohammad-Ali Rajai and Mohammad-Javad Bahonar. He was the leader of Combatant Clergy Association and Chairman of the Assembly of Experts and also founder and president of Imam Sadiq University.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Mohammad Kazem Shariatmadari</span> Iranian Grand Ayatollah (1906-1986)

Sayyid Mohammad Kazem Shariatmadari, also spelled Shariat-Madari, was an Iranian Grand Ayatollah. He favoured the traditional Shiite practice of keeping clerics away from governmental positions and was a critic of Supreme Leader Ruhollah Khomeini, denouncing the taking hostage of diplomats at the US embassy in Tehran.

The Muslim Student Followers of the Imam's Line, also called the Muslim Students of the Imam Khomeini Line, was an Iranian student group that occupied the U.S. embassy in Tehran on 4 November 1979. The students were supporters of the Islamic Revolution who occupied the embassy to show their support for Ayatollah Khomeini and their outrage that the ex-Shah of Iran was admitted to the United States for cancer treatment, instead of being returned to Iran for trial and execution. The occupation triggered the Iran hostage crisis where 52 American diplomats and citizens were held hostage for 444 days.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">1963 demonstrations in Iran</span> 1963 public backlash in Pahlavi-dynasty Iran following the arrest of Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini

The demonstrations of June 5 and 6, also called the events of June 1963 or the 15 Khordad uprising, were protests in Iran against the arrest of Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini after his denouncement of Iranian Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi and Israel. The Shah's regime was taken by surprise by the massive public demonstrations of support, and although these were crushed within days by the police and military, the events established the importance and power of (Shia) religious opposition to the Shah, and Khomeini as a major political and religious leader. Fifteen years later, Khomeini was to lead the Iranian Revolution which overthrew the Shah and the Pahlavi dynasty and established the Islamic Republic of Iran.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Timeline of the Iranian Revolution</span>

This article is a timeline of events relevant to the Islamic Revolution in Iran. For earlier events refer to Pahlavi dynasty and for later ones refer to History of the Islamic Republic of Iran. This article doesn't include the reasons of the events and further information is available in Islamic revolution of Iran.

The Iranian Revolution of 1979, in which Shah Mohammed Reza Pahlavi was overthrown and replaced by an Islamist government led by Ruhollah Khomeini, has been the subject of conspiracy theories alleging Western involvement, in particular, that the United States and the United Kingdom secretly opposed the Shah because his White Revolution and Iran's growing independence was unfavorable to their interests in Iranian petroleum. In his own memoirs, Answer to History, the Shah alleges that Western forces most prominently the United Kingdom, the United States, and Big Oil conspired against him all for their own reasons while most notably, he claims due to his manipulation of oil prices.

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<span class="mw-page-title-main">Sadeq Tabatabaei</span> Iranian revolutionary figure

Sadeq Tabatabaei was an Iranian writer, journalist, TV host, university professor at the University of Tehran and politician who served as Deputy Prime Minister from 1979 to 1980. He was also Deputy Minister of the Interior and oversaw the referendum on establishing an Islamic Republic in March 1979. He was Iran's Ambassador to West Germany from 1982 until 1986.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Iran hostage crisis negotiations</span> 1980–1981 US–Iran negotiations to end the Iran hostage crisis

The Iran hostage crisis negotiations were negotiations in 1980 and 1981 between the United States Government and the Iranian Government to end the Iranian hostage crisis. The 52 American hostages, seized from the US Embassy in Tehran in November 1979, were finally released on 20 January 1981. A detailed account of the hostage crisis and the Algiers Accords is found in American Hostages In Iran: The Conduct of a Crisis [Yale 1985] put together by the Council on Foreign Relations.

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<span class="mw-page-title-main">Public Law 113-100</span>

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The following lists events that happened during 1981 in Iran.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Ruhollah Khomeini's return to Iran</span> 1979 return of the Iranian religious leader

Ruhollah Khomeini’s return to Iran on 1 February 1979, after 14 years in exile, was an important event in the Iranian Revolution. It led to the collapse of the provisional government of Shapour Bakhtiar and the final overthrow of the Shah of Iran, Mohammad Reza Pahlavi, on 11 February 1979.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">America can't do a damn thing against us</span> Slogan by Iranian leader Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini

America can't do a damn thing against us is a slogan originally used by the former Supreme Leader of Iran, Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini during the Iran hostage crisis, for the first time to assure the Iranians that the United States would not be able to restore the ousted Shah of Iran back to the Iranian throne. The statement then became an unofficial slogan for the Iranian Revolution which resulted in the establishment of an Islamic Republic under Khomeini's rule.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Island of Stability (speech)</span> 1977 speech by U.S. president Jimmy Carter

"Island of Stability" is a phrase that became the namesake for a 1977 speech by American president Jimmy Carter, while he was being hosted by Mohammad Reza Pahlavi at the Niavaran Complex in the city of Tehran, Iran. It was a reflection of Iran's circumstances — regarded as a stable country and a bastion of the Western Bloc in what was otherwise an unstable Middle East under the influence of the Eastern Bloc — and the importance placed on Pahlavi's rule by the United States. Carter's speech was made one year before the Islamic Revolution, in which Pahlavi's monarchical state was overthrown and replaced by the Islamic Republic.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Jimmy Carter's engagement with Ruhollah Khomeini</span> Report published in 2016 by BBC

In 2016, the BBC published a report which stated that the administration of United States President Jimmy Carter (1977–1981) had extensive contact with Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini and his entourage in the prelude to the Iranian Revolution of 1979. The report was based on "newly declassified US diplomatic cables". According to the report, as mentioned by The Guardian, Khomeini "went to great lengths to ensure the Americans would not jeopardise his plans to return to Iran - and even personally wrote to US officials" and assured them not to worry about their interests in Iran, particularly oil. According to the report, in turn, Carter and his administration helped Khomeini and made sure that the Imperial Iranian army would not launch a military coup.


  1. "Iran Hostage Crisis Fast Facts". CNN Middle East. 16 September 2013.
  2. Cumming-Bruce, Nicholas (November 8, 1979). "Tehran". The Washington Post. Retrieved 11 April 2021.