Iranian Hostage Crisis

By Andrew Franco

What is the Iranian Hostage Crisis?

On November 4, 1979, a group of Iranian students stormed the U.S. Embassy in Tehran, taking more than 60 American hostages. Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, a radical cleric whose revolutionary Islamist movement seemed to promise a break from the past and a turn toward greater autonomy for the Iranian people.

President Carter sent a team of soldiers to try to free them, however that mission ended with a disastrous helicopter wreck. The students set their hostages free on January 21, 1981, 444 days after the crisis began and just hours after President Ronald Reagan delivered his inaugural address.

Important people during the Iranian Hostage Crisis

  • Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini- a radical cleric who lead the revolutionary islamist movement.
  • President Jimmy Carter- President of the U.S. at the time of the crisis.
  • Mohammad Reza Pahlavi- Shah of Iran during the hostage crisis.