Iran Hostage Crisis Hannah Dillon

On November 4th 1979 Iranian students storm the embassy in Tehran, Iran. They took more than 60 American hostages. The cause of this was President Jimmy Carter and his choice to allow Iran’s deposed Shah, a pro-Western dictator who had been expelled from his country, to come to the United States for cancer treatment. But this is not the sole reason for the hostage taking. The hostage crisis shows that because of who is in office and what they do will affect the hostage crisis.

What effects did presidents in the U.S. have on the Iran Hostage Crisis?

Left to right: Jimmy Cater- U.S president at the time of crisis, Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini- leader of those who stormed embassy, followers of Khomeini with photos and fist up in support of him.

As easy as it would be to place all the blame on Jimmy Carter, there were multiple things that lead to the taking on these hostages. This was an intense and dramatic opportunity for the young revolutionaries to declare the end of American interference in its affairs. This also helped raise the international profile of their leader, Khomeini (pictured above) an anti-american religious leader.

The Iranian's let hostages free on January 21, 1981, 444 days after the crisis began and only hours after President Ronald Reagan delivered his inaugural address.

More of the conflict between Iran and America was over oil. In 1951 Iran’s new prime minister, a nationalist named Muhammad Mossadegh, had plans to nationalize the oil industry in Iran. In response, the American C.I.A. and the British intelligence devised a secret plan to overthrow Mossadegh and replace him with a leader who would be interested in western goals. They chose and set up the government for new leader, Mohammed Reza Shah Pahlavi, he was anti-communism and pro-western, 80% of oil was returned to U.S and Britain.

The newly assigned Shah of Iran Mohammed Reza Shah Pahlavi, from the royal Iranian family. He turned hour to be a dictator, who's policies tortured thousands of people.
1970s, many Iranians were fed up with the Shah’s government. In protest, they turned to Khomeini.

The U.S did not want hostility in the Middle East. So President Carter did not defend the exiled Shah. But in October 1979 President Carter allowed the exiled to enter the U.S. for treatment of an advanced malignant lymphoma. This was not a political decision. Anti-American views in Iran exploded.

"Reagan takes oath as 40th president; promises an 'era of national renewal' minutes later, 52 U.S. hostages in Iran fly to freedom after 444-day ordeal." The New York Times article following Reagan's Inauguration.

THE 1980 ELECTION CARTER VS REAGAN. The coverage of the hostage crisis in the U.S. was a huge backdrop in the presidential race of 1980. President Carter, having not been able to free the hostages yet, was seen as weak, and as he continued to try and free the hostages he payed little attention to the campaign. Reagan then defeated Carter in a "landslide" victory.

On January 21, 1981, just a few hours after Ronald Reagan delivered his inaugural address, the remaining hostages were released. They had been held for 444 days.

In conclusion, we can see very clearly that the choices of President Carter during his term was one of the main causes of the hostage crisis. Though this could have happened to any president in their four year term, Carter allowing an exiled Shah into the country seemed to be the final straw for the Iranian student. Along with the secret mission set up to replace their government with a more westernized one. U.S. interference from Carter had to be the cause. When a new president is elected the Iranians free the hostages after almost a year of holding them captive. But since new President Reagan had not done anything to bother the Iranians, they were freed.

Citations: 1) Lex, Look L. Mohammed Reza Shah Pahlavi. Digital image. LookLex. N.p., n.d. Web. 13 Mar. 2017. 2) Killough, James. Iran Hostage Crisis. Digital image. Iran Hostage Crisis. N.p., 12 Oct. 2012. Web. 13 Mar. 2017. 3) Staff, Staff. "Iran Hostage Crisis." A&E Television Networks, 2010. Web. 13 Mar. 2017. 4)Cooper, Michael. "Recalling Iranian Hostage Crisis, Giuliani Invokes Reagan as a Model." The New York Times. The New York Times, 05 Dec. 2007. Web. 13 Mar. 2017. 5 )Jackson, Maria. "WGBH American Experience . Jimmy Carter." PBS. Public Broadcasting Service, 22 Dec. 2014. Web. 13 Mar. 2017. 6)Library, Jimmy Carter. "The Hostage Crisis in Iran." Jimmy Carter Presidential Library and Museum. N.p., 2010. Web. 13 Mar. 2017.


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