They Don’t Get It on Iran

Creech Air Force Base, NV — Thirty years ago this week a group of Iranian “students” shouting “death to America” stormed the U.S. Embassy in Tehran, Iran, taking nearly 100 hostages — among them 65 Americans. Though foreign national employees and some Americans were released within a few weeks, the remaining 52 were held for 444 days. For the American people, it was an introduction to militant Islam. For President Jimmy Carter, intent on “engaging” the radical regime that replaced Shah Reza Pahlavi, it was a disaster. The Obama administration appears to have missed the lessons of this debacle.

Though Mr. Carter described the embassy takeover as “a disappointing development” and “surprising,” it shouldn’t have been. Strikes, mass demonstrations and student protests throughout Iran began early in 1978. In September, the Shah responded by declaring martial law. It didn’t help.

On January 16, 1979, the Shah, seriously ill with cancer, fled and sought refuge in Morocco, Mexico and the United States. Two weeks later, February 1, 1979, Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini returned from exile in France to be greeted by more than five million devotees lining the streets of Tehran. Ten days later he proclaimed himself Iran’s Supreme Leader.

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When hundreds of students chanting anti-American slogans flooded into, and briefly occupied, the U.S. embassy on February 15, the Carter administration delivered a “strongly worded diplomatic note” protesting the “lack of protection by Iranian authorities.” For the next eight months, despite increasingly strident pronouncements by Khomeini and officials of his new “Islamic Republic,” Mr. Carter and his aides made repeated overtures to “engage” the regime in Tehran.

On November 1, 1979, Zbigniew Brzezinski met in Algiers with the Ayatollah’s Prime Minister, Mehdi Bazargan. Three days later the “students” charged into the U.S. embassy again. This time they stayed.

Though some of those who participated in the takeover subsequently claimed they planned nothing more than a “sit in” like those on U.S. college campuses during anti-Vietnam War protests, the Ayatollah’s most radical followers were actually in control of events. Despite Carter administration protests, Khomeini’s “Revolutionary Guards” and police, posted outside the embassy walls, did nothing to end the take-over or the hostage situation. Mr. Carter responded by freezing Iranian assets in the U.S. and “severing diplomatic ties” with Tehran.

On Christmas day, less than two months after the hostages were seized in Tehran, the Soviet Union invaded Afghanistan. Once again, President Carter, wracked by intelligence failures and indecision, said he was “shocked and surprised” and boycotted the Olympics.

Over the course of the next year, while the Carter administration dithered, Khomeini and his council of militant clerics created all of the instruments of state control common to revolutionary regimes, but with an Islamic twist. He purged the military and the Iranian civil service, created a massive internal secret police network, a “block warden” system to spy on neighbors, took control of print and broadcast media, rounded up opponents and tried them in “special courts” under Sharia law.

By the spring of 1980, when President Carter ordered our deeply under-funded U.S. military to rescue the hostages held in Tehran, Khomeini was convinced that he was on a divine mission to “purify Islam” and re-establish a “Caliphate” in the “Lands of the Prophet.” When Operation Eagle Claw failed catastrophically on the night of April 24-25 with the loss of 8 American lives — and without the Iranians firing a shot — the Ayatollah claimed it was because Allah “protected the Islamic State from infidels.” He also began predicting an apocalyptic battle against the U.S. and Israel which would destroy “The Great Satan,” and “the Zionist entity.”

Though the hostages were released on January 20, 1981 — just hours before Ronald Reagan’s inaugural — Tehran’s wave of terror didn’t stop. By 1982, despite a bloody war with Iraq, the Ayatollah’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps had created a proxy force in Lebanon — Hezbollah. Over the course of the next five years Hezbollah terrorists armed, trained and paid for by Tehran, hijacked, kidnapped, bombed, and killed more Americans than any terror organization on the planet until the attacks of 9-11-01.

In the three decades since the seizure of the U.S. embassy in Tehran, the rhetoric of Revolutionary Islam is little changed. The words and pronouncements of Iran’s current Supreme Leader, Seyyed Ali Khamenei, and the declarations of Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad echo those of Khomeini thirty years ago.

Their actions are also unchanged. This week, while our FOX News Team was at this Air Force Base in the Nevada desert, Israeli commandos seized 60 tons of Iranian weapons enroute to Hezbollah.

The regime in Tehran still proclaims “Death to America.” They still promise to destroy Israel. Only now the Iranians are building nuclear weapons and the means of delivering them.

Like the Carter administration, Mr. Obama and his advisers are apparently convinced that “engaging” the Iranian regime will somehow make things different. After 30 years they still don’t get it.

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3 thoughts on “They Don’t Get It on Iran

    • I remember this event as I also remember the 1972 Olympics when they took the Isralies hostage and then later killed them. The rescue attempt on that one was a joke and I thought, this would never happen to an American. Well it did, and it continues today. Barry is a joke, and not one that is funny either.

  1. I WAS IN THE U.S ARMY DURING THE 1970’S WHEN THE RADICAL ISLAMIC MOVEMENT BEGAN… THE ANGER AND SENSE OF LOSS STILL RUN DEEP IN MY THOUGHTS AND EMOTIONS… THE LACK OF REPONSE BY THE CARTER ADMINISTRATION WAS AN INSULT TO THE MEN AND WOMEN WHO SERVED IN THE ARMED FORCES AND THE AMERICAN PEOPLE…THE RESUE ATTEMP AND FAILURE AT DESERT 1, WAS A SAD DAY FOR AMERICAS PREPAREDNESS FOR THE TASK THAT LAY AHEAD… MANY WHERE SO LET DOWN BY THE LACK OF FORCEFUL RESPONSE TO THIS ATTACK ON AMERICA WE LEFT THE SERVICES… THE GOVERNMENT HAD LOST THE WILL TO FIGHT AND STARTED THE DECLINE OF AMERICAN POWER… THANK GOD FOR “THE GIPPER” RONALD REAGAN” HE RESTORED THE LOST FAITH IN AMERICA… MANY RETURNED TO SERVICE… WE PREPARDED AND TRAINED FOR THE DAY WE WOULD AVENGE THE FALLEN HEROS OF DESERT ONE AND GIVE THE VICTIMS OF THE EMBASSY TAKE OVER SOME SENCE OF JUSTICE… THE STANCE THE REGAN ADMINSTRATION TOOK SLOWED THE RADICAL MOVEMENT FOR SOMETIME… HOWEVER HERE WE ARE AGAIN… THE RADICAL ISLAMIC MOVEMENT IS IN FULL FORCE… BUT WHERE THE HELL IS OUR GOVERNMENT…OH… WHAT AM I ASKING??? WE DON’T HAVE ONE…. IT’S BEEN USURPED BY A NON QUALIFIED, DUAL CITIZEN, ISLAMIC LOVING, AMERICA DESTROYING TRAITIOR TO THE U.S CONSTITUTION AND THE AMERICAN PEOPLE… THE EVENTS OF 1979, 1983, 1993, 2001 AND THE LATEST EVENT AT FT HOOD, SHOULD BE THE FINAL WAKE UP CALL FOR AMERICA… IF YOU HIT THE SNOOZE BUTTON ONE MORE TIME I’LL JUST SHOOT YOU MYSELF AND SAVE THE ISLAMIC HORDS FROM CUTTING OFF YOUR HEAD… SLEEP WELL… AMERICAN SOLDIERS AND PATRIOTS ARE WATCHING OVER THIS COUNTRY… ALL PRAISE TO THE FATHER OF MY LORD AND SAVIOR JESUS CHRIST… NO MAN COMES TO THE FATHER EXCEPT THRU ME…

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