Moderators: richierich, ua900, PanAm_DC10, hOMSaR

 
Sokes
Topic Author
Posts: 1875
Joined: Sat Mar 09, 2019 4:48 pm

Iranian Revolution/ Iran-Iraq war/ Iran hostage crises/ Carter

Mon Sep 21, 2020 5:56 am

I'm trying to figure what happened.
As always in history one can't know for sure and there are different views depending how much weight one gives to each of the multitude of factors.

Timeline:
February 1979:
Iran revolution

22. September 1980:
After the revolution skirmishes start between Iran and Iraq, but full invasion by Iraq in September. Beside ideological differences Saddam had his eyes on an oil rich province bordering Iraq.

04. November 1980:
Start of Iran hostage crisis.
Power struggle between revolutionaries which way Iran is to go:
"With the fall of the Shah, the glue that unified the various ideological (religious, liberal, secularist, Marxist, and Communist) and class (bazaari merchant, secular middle class, poor) factions of the revolution—opposed to the Shah—was gone.[6] Different interpretations of the broad goals of the revolution (an end to tyranny, more Islamic and less American and Western influence, more social justice and less inequality) and different interests, vied for influence."
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Consolida ... Revolution

06. November 1980:
How to unite a people? Have a common enemy!
The occupation of the US embassy leads to the provisional government of the moderate Bazargan to step down. Radicals gain the upper hand.

"The Prime Minister and all members of his cabinet resigned en masse on 6 November 1979 after American Embassy officials were taken hostage two days earlier on 4 November 1979. In his letter to Khomeini, Bazargan stated that "...repeated interferences, inconveniences, objections and disputes have made my colleagues and me unable to continue [meeting] our duties ...".
Power then passed into the hands of the Revolutionary Council. Bazargan had been a supporter of the original revolutionary draft constitution rather than theocracy by Islamic jurist, and his resignation was received by Khomeini without protest, saying "Mr. Bazargan ... was a little tired and preferred to stay on the sidelines for a while." Khomeini later described his appointment of Bazargan as a "mistake".[16] Bazargan, on the other hand, described the government as a "knife without blade."["
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Interim_G ... nt_of_Iran

19. January 1981:
In Algiers the US and Iran reach an agreement. The US will not intervene politically or militarily in Iranian internal affairs. Iran will release the hostages.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Algiers_Accords

20.January 1981:
The day after the Algiers Accord and minutes after President Reagan's inaugural address the hostages were released to US personnel.


Afterwards the US wasn't quite sure what to think of the Iraq-Iran war. Iraq, just like Iran, is majority shia. Both Iraq and Iran grew quite wealthy and powerful thanks to high oil prices in the 70s. A religious shia power consisting of Iraq and Iran would have been too powerful.
Saddam's party had a pan Arabic, one party and secular ideology. The Iranian revolution was a threat to him and his party.
After initial Iraq gains, Iran by 1982 seemed to win.
Saudis and other sunni countries were not keen on a religious shia power and supported Iraq.

"In 1972, Saddam signed a 15-year Treaty of Friendship and Cooperation with the Soviet Union. According to historian Charles R. H. Tripp, the treaty upset "the U.S.-sponsored security system established as part of the Cold War in the Middle East. It appeared that any enemy of the Baghdad regime was a potential ally of the United States."[45] In response, the U.S. covertly financed Kurdish rebels led by Mustafa Barzani during the Second Iraqi–Kurdish War; the Kurds were defeated in 1975, leading to the forcible relocation of hundreds of thousands of Kurdish civilians.[45]"
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Saddam_Hu ... al_program

No friends in politics. Reagan decided to switch sides. That was only when it seemed Iran will win.

"American views toward Iraq were not enthusiastically supportive in its conflict with Iran, and activity in assistance was largely to prevent an Iranian victory. This was encapsulated by Henry Kissinger when he remarked, "It's a pity they both can't lose.""
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_St ... 93Iraq_War


What to think of Carter in all this?
Why can't the world be a little bit more autistic?
 
Mortyman
Posts: 5871
Joined: Sat Aug 12, 2006 8:26 pm

Re: Iranian Revolution/ Iran-Iraq war/ Iran hostage crises/ Carter

Mon Sep 21, 2020 6:45 am

The US President at the time, Jimmy Carter, immediately put economic and diplomatic pressure on Iran. Oil imports from Iran ended on November 12, 1979, a number of Iranians in the United States were deported (some of them unrelated to the crisis or the new Iranian government), and about $ 8 billion of Iranian funds in the United States were frozen on November 14, 1979.

Escape and partial rescue

During the riots, six Americans fled in confusion and hid in one of their apartments before taking refuge at the Canadian and Swedish embassies, during the hospitality of Canadian Ambassador Ken Taylor, who took a personal risk in hiding the American diplomats. Mark Lijek, Cora Amburn Lijek, Joseph Stafford, Kathleen Stafford, Robert Anders and Henry Lee Schatz were given fake Canadian passports so that they could leave the Canadian embassy without being identified as Americans, after it closed on January 20, 1980. CIA obtained the passports and contributed to the rescue mission in cooperation with the Canadian authorities. See article Argo operation on this incident.

Thirteen of the hostages, women and African Americans in the group were released on November 19 and 20, 1979, but the remaining 53 were still being held. Another hostage was released due to illness on July 11, 1980.

Negotiations and failed rescue attempts [ed

Carter ordered himself to save the lives of the hostages, but apart from the initial measures, there was little he could do. Initially, the Iranian government denied that the occupation of the embassy was an official action carried out by the government, but as time passed without any action to free the hostages, the demand became thinner. In February 1980, Iran released a set of demands to release the hostages. These included the extradition of the deposed shah to Iran and certain diplomatic gestures including an apology for previous US actions in Iran (including the US-backed coup in 1953 against Mossadegh and a promise not to interfere in the future.

Carter knew he could not meet Iranian demands and sought negotiations using third-party governments such as Switzerland. Meanwhile, he approved a poorly thought-out secret rescue operation called Operation Eagle Claw. On the night between April 24 and 25, 1980, a transport plane crashed making it clear that a special force could land in Tehran, at an airport in the Great Salt Desert in eastern Iran. The mission, which had already been canceled due to damage to an aircraft that ended up in a sandstorm, was turned into a disaster when a lightening helicopter cut a C-130 aircraft and crashed. Eight U.S. officials were killed. Surgical equipment was left behind and found by the Iranians and later displayed, and the dead bodies were paraded through Tehran during massive street protests that were shown on television worldwide. Carter's Secretary of State, Cyrus Vance, who had opposed the rescue attempt, resigned.

A new attempt called Credible Sport was prepared with heavily modified C-130 Hercules aircraft with rocket engines for an extremely short landing in a football stadium, but the preparation was interrupted after the election in November

The last few months

The Shah's death on July 27 and the Iraqi invasion of Iran in September 1980 made Iran more receptive to resolving the hostage crisis.

In the United States, Carter lost the presidential election to Ronald Reagan in November. Most analysts believe Carter's inability to resolve the hostage crisis played a significant role in his solid defeat. Unproven controversial allegations that the release of the hostages was postponed until after the election through an illegal agreement between the government of Iran and Reagan, who were interested in avoiding what he and his advisers saw as an October surprise, if the hostages were released just before the election , this could lead to a boost for Carter.

Shortly after the election, the Carter administration opened fruitful negotiations, with the assistance of intermediaries such as the Algerian diplomat Abdulkarim Ghuraib, between the United States and Iran. In exchange for resolving the $ 8 billion worth of Iran belonging to the United States and immunity from any lawsuits, the hostages were to be released. On January 20, 1981, minutes after President Reagan took the oath, the hostages were formally released into US custody after spending 444 days in captivity.

The hostages were flown to Frankfurt am Main air defense base in West Germany, where former President Jimmy Carter, who served as envoy for the Reagan administration, received them. After medical examinations and debriefing, they took a new flight to Washington, D.C., where they received a hero's reception. For some, this was an extension of the nation's celebration that Reagan had taken over the presidency

( Norwegian Wikipedia )












I know Carter has been heavely critisized over this, but honestly ... I don't know how much more he could have done.
 
kaitak
Posts: 9939
Joined: Wed Aug 18, 1999 5:49 am

Re: Iranian Revolution/ Iran-Iraq war/ Iran hostage crises/ Carter

Mon Sep 21, 2020 9:29 pm

I agree; I don't know what the truth is about Reagan (or his team) wanting to delay the release of hostages until after October; I doubt it, because I think the Iranians would have seen through this - and would have made it public, with predictable results.

My personal view is that Iran looked at America, which was then in a crisis of confidence, not doing well, not confident - having relatively recently come out badly from Vietnam. They saw Carter as weak; he was too nice, to be honest. Then, they saw Reagan and I suspect they knew fairly quickly that he was not to be trifled with - and that he wouldn't hesitate to take action against Iran, given the opportunity. The Iranian Islamic Republic was still, at that time, quite new and of course, it was contending with the Iraqi invasion, so they really didn't need to fight a battle on another front. That, I think, is what led to the hostages being released - and, in fairness, with $8b in funds released (a very large sum back then), they did well out of it.

As to the Iran/Iraq war, it did continue until about 1987 and ended up pretty much as stalemate, with huge losses on both sides; in a sense, Kissinger was right, because neither side really "won". Then, three years later, Saddam invaded Kuwait and the rest is history. So, having come into power in 1979 and being deposed in about 2003, Iraq enjoyed very little stability under Saddam Hussein, but that's a story for another day.
 
Sokes
Topic Author
Posts: 1875
Joined: Sat Mar 09, 2019 4:48 pm

Re: Iranian Revolution/ Iran-Iraq war/ Iran hostage crises/ Carter

Tue Sep 22, 2020 4:40 am

Also relevant:
"Though Iraq had previously been hostile towards other Gulf states, "the threat of Persian fundamentalism was far more feared."... They were especially inclined to fear Iranian victory after Ayatollah Khomeini declared monarchies to be illegitimate and an un-Islamic form of government.[79] Khomeini's statement was widely received as a call to overthrow the Gulf monarchies.
...
At the same time, the Soviet Union, angered with Iran for purging and destroying the communist Tudeh Party, sent large shipments of weapons to Iraq. The Iraqi Air Force was replenished with Soviet, Chinese, and French fighter jets and attack/transport helicopters.
...
On 20 June 1982, Saddam announced that he wanted to sue for peace and proposed an immediate ceasefire and withdrawal from Iranian territory within two weeks.[125] Khomeini responded by saying the war would not end until a new government was installed in Iraq and reparations paid.[126] He proclaimed that Iran would invade Iraq and would not stop until the Ba'ath regime was replaced by an Islamic republic."
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Iran%E2%8 ... orramshahr)


Mortyman wrote:
The Shah's death on July 27 and the Iraqi invasion of Iran in September 1980 made Iran more receptive to resolving the hostage crisis.

You are right. I made a mistake and my timeline is wrong.
The hostage crisis started 04. November 1979, not 04.Nov 1980. That means Iraq's invasion (22.Sept. 1980) was nearly eleven months after the hostage crisis started.
A changed timeline of course leads to total different conclusions. Now it makes more sense.

My hypothesis:
After the Shah was disposed there was a power struggle between different groups. As the US had been a supporter of the Shah, taking US embassy staff as prisoners was a way for the religious group to consolidate power. Khomeini may have speculated that after the Vietnam war the US was not ready for another conflict, just as Britain tried to maintain peace with Germany after WW1. He was right.
With the US being humiliated Saddam Hussein may have speculated that an attack on the stronger Iran is possible. The world won't help Iran. If things go wrong, the world will come to his rescue. He was also right.

"The United Nations Security Council initially called for a cease-fire after a week of fighting while Iraq was occupying Iranian territory, and renewed the call on later occasions. However, the UN did not come to Iran's aid to repel the Iraqi invasion, and the Iranians thus interpreted the UN as subtly biased in favour of Iraq."
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Iran%E2%8 ... q_and_Iran

"Saddam sent a warning to Khomeini in mid-1988, threatening to launch a new and powerful full-scale invasion and attack Iranian cities with weapons of mass destruction. Shortly afterwards, Iraqi aircraft bombed the Iranian town of Oshnavieh with poison gas, immediately killing and wounding over 2,000 civilians. The fear of an all out chemical attack against Iran's largely unprotected civilian population weighed heavily on the Iranian leadership, and they realized that the international community had no intention of restraining Iraq.[170] The lives of the civilian population of Iran were becoming very disrupted, with a third of the urban population evacuating major cities in fear of the seemingly imminent chemical war. Meanwhile, Iraqi conventional bombs and missiles continuously hit towns and cities, destroying vital civilian and military infrastructure, and increasing the death toll. Iran replied with missile and air attacks, but not sufficiently to deter the Iraqis.[162]
...
In July 1988, Iraqi aircraft dropped bombs on the Iranian Kurdish village of Zardan. Dozens of villages, such as Sardasht, and some larger towns, such as Marivan, Baneh and Saqqez,[172] were once again attacked with poison gas, resulting in even heavier civilian casualties.[173] On 3 July 1988, the USS Vincennes shot down Iran Air Flight 655, killing 290 passengers and crew. The lack of international sympathy disturbed the Iranian leadership, and they came to the conclusion that the United States was on the verge of waging a full-scale war against them, and that Iraq was on the verge of unleashing its entire chemical arsenal upon their cities.[170]
At this point, elements of the Iranian leadership, led by Rafsanjani (who had initially pushed for the extension of the war), persuaded Khomeini to accept a ceasefire.[79]... On 20 July 1988, Iran accepted Resolution 598, showing its willingness to accept a ceasefire.[79]:11 A statement from Khomeini was read out in a radio address, and he expressed deep displeasure and reluctance about accepting the ceasefire"
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Iran%E2%8 ... _ceasefire



Mortyman wrote:
In February 1980, Iran released a set of demands to release the hostages. These included the extradition of the deposed shah to Iran and certain diplomatic gestures including an apology for previous US actions in Iran (including the US-backed coup in 1953 against Mossadegh and a promise not to interfere in the future.
Carter knew he could not meet Iranian demands ...

Why not? What was unreasonable about these demands?


Mortyman wrote:
The Shah's death on July 27 and the Iraqi invasion of Iran in September 1980 made Iran more receptive to resolving the hostage crisis.

In the United States, Carter lost the presidential election to Ronald Reagan in November. Most analysts believe Carter's inability to resolve the hostage crisis played a significant role in his solid defeat. Unproven controversial allegations that the release of the hostages was postponed until after the election through an illegal agreement between the government of Iran and Reagan, who were interested in avoiding what he and his advisers saw as an October surprise, if the hostages were released just before the election , this could lead to a boost for Carter.

Or: Iran blamed Carter for the fact that the UN didn't show any interest in helping Iran against Iraq aggression. Iran had however no quarrel with Reagan. Moreover there was a war going on. Foreign aggression is good enough to consolidate power. There was no more need for the embassy hostages. Why to anger Reagan?


Since when does one bargain with hostage takers?
Carters unwillingness to use violence may have been the invitation for Hussein to invade Iran.
Beside hundreds of thousands deaths the live of millions got ruined.
Carter didn't want to agree on the reasonable demands. But then US violence may also have consolidated the Iranian regime. Psychopaths always win.
It was a stupid situation for Carter BECAUSE the Iranian demands were justified.

It's true. With the world so dependent on oil it's unacceptable that any power in the Gulf becomes dominant. Saudi is somewhat dominant, but then Saudi depends on US protection. It's a case of subsidiary alliance, Saudi can't just do whatever they want. The same is true for Kuwait.

If one had to be sincere one would admit that self determination for Gulf countries is not acceptable for us. To maintain an appearance of it we have to rely on dirty politics, among other things the support of unpopular pro Western dictators or even the overthrow of governments.
Oil sells for far more than the extraction cost. Psychopaths will always fight for that surplus value. That includes Western psychopaths. Iraq was invaded on fake charges. Who got the oil exploitation rights afterwards? Were they auctioned to the highest bidder, as our capitalist ideology and our idea of rule of law demands?

Would it not be better for the people there if they were colonized?

I still drive a petrol car. What to think of it?
Why can't the world be a little bit more autistic?

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: ArchGuy1, FGITD, mdsh00, Newark727 and 43 guests

Popular Searches On Airliners.net

Top Photos of Last:   24 Hours  •  48 Hours  •  7 Days  •  30 Days  •  180 Days  •  365 Days  •  All Time

Military Aircraft Every type from fighters to helicopters from air forces around the globe

Classic Airliners Props and jets from the good old days

Flight Decks Views from inside the cockpit

Aircraft Cabins Passenger cabin shots showing seat arrangements as well as cargo aircraft interior

Cargo Aircraft Pictures of great freighter aircraft

Government Aircraft Aircraft flying government officials

Helicopters Our large helicopter section. Both military and civil versions

Blimps / Airships Everything from the Goodyear blimp to the Zeppelin

Night Photos Beautiful shots taken while the sun is below the horizon

Accidents Accident, incident and crash related photos

Air to Air Photos taken by airborne photographers of airborne aircraft

Special Paint Schemes Aircraft painted in beautiful and original liveries

Airport Overviews Airport overviews from the air or ground

Tails and Winglets Tail and Winglet closeups with beautiful airline logos