Its impact and complications were astonishing. Sixty American lives came to a screeching halt when they were held hostage and sequestered from their friends, family, and homes. As the American government scrambled to the rescue, its initial response was by sheer military force.  The result:  Iranians became angrier. This crisis caused deaths and corruption within both countries. Iran’s revolution altered its relationship with the United States. In 1979 Shah Muhammad Reza Pahlavi (Shah) was overthrown by popular vote. It was a disappointing transition because his family had ruled Iran for decades. Shah’s followers were angry at the U.S. for supporting Ayatollah Ruhollah who replaced Shah (We Interrupt this Broadcast Garner et al, 96). “The Iranian ruler, Mohammad Reza Shah Pahlavi, had been close to a succession of U.S., and this had caused bitterness and acts of warfare among Iran’s violent leaders, from both the left and right of the political spectrum” (  In the fall of 1978, Iranians who opposed Americans being in their country focused their attention on U.S. embassy in Tehran ( Then on February 14, 1979, about a month after the Shah had fled Iran because of protest against him, the U.S. embassy was attacked and briefly occupied ( While the embassy took on this assault against them, several innocent workers were wounded or killed ( “As a result, by the start of the hostage crisis, the embassy staff had been cut from more than 1,400 men and women before the revolution to about 70” ( In October 1979, the U.S. State Department was informed that the overthrown Iranian monarch required medical treatment that his aides claimed was available only in the United States ( U.S. authorities, in turn, informed the Iranian prime minister, Mehdi Bazargan, of the Shah’s impending arrival on American soil ( Bazargan, in light of the February attack, guaranteed the safety of the U.S. embassy and its staff (, the hostage-taking was about more than the Shah’s medical care: it was a dramatic way for the student revolutionaries to declare a break with Iran’s past and an end to American interference in its affairs ( “It was also a way to raise the intra- and international profile of the revolution’s leader, the anti-American cleric Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini” ( Then in the capital city of Tehran, the real trouble began. On November of 1979, five-hundred students stormed the U.S. embassy  (We Interrupt this Broadcast Garner et al, 96). Three-thousand students jumped 10ft walls to barge in( The end result was 60 Americans being held hostage, some being part of the U.S. army (We Interrupt this Broadcast Garner et al, 96). For this reason the U.S. responded with a lot of military force.  But it was pointless, because all they had to do was return Shah to the custody of the Iranian students. Yet the U.S. (Carter) refused and made a bigger argument. Carter started by freezing billions of dollars in Iranian assets . Then Carter made two plans to get the hostages back. The first was launched April 24, 1980 ( A small task force, carried by eight American helicopters, landed in a desert (Office of the Historian). They were southeast of Tehran. . They and the prisoners were supposed to escape with six boats; but things did not go as planned. They failed. And as a result, eight service members were killed . The fight was so intense that they had to leave the bodies behind . They tried a different tactic on May, 1980). The U.S. Convinced their closest allies to institute an economic embargo against Iran. But even with the Embargo it was not enough to weaken Iran (Office of the Historian). Yellow ribbons were tied around trees by U.S. citizens in commemoration of the hostages (  Meanwhile the hostages in Iran were suffering as well. The day the revolt started, the Americans  (now hostages), consisting of teachers, students, and soldiers, tried to protect themselves by launching tear gasses on the outraged Iranian students ( The Iranians fought, threw the tear gas, and cornered them in a small room. The Iranians told the Americans that if they surrendered that they would not harm them. The Americans pondered surrendering and what the consequences would be if they did not. After a couple of days, they surrendered. They were bound, blindfolded, and shoved into windowless rooms ( After a short period of time, only thirteen hostages were released (  It is said that they were allowed to leave because they were African American women ( 1980, Shah died of cancer complications which helped end the crisis (We interrupt this Broadcast et al, 96). The U.S. being anxious for the return of the hostages, gave eight billion dollars to Iran for their freedom (We Interrupt this Broadcast Garner et al, 96). The Iranians and Americans agreed to the terms of the hostage’s freedom. On January 20, 1981, minutes after the inauguration of new president Ronald W. Reagan, hostages were released to the U.S. (Office of the Historian). The hostages were imprisoned in Iran for a total of four hundred-forty-four days ( the end, the Iranian Hostage Crisis may have caused Jimmy Carter to lose his job. It certainly cost the invaluable lives of American servicemen.  It was a painful experience for the hostages and their families. Millions of dollars were spent in arriving to a resolution. And unfortunately, the hostility between the two countries lingers even today.

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