Iran Hostage Crisis (04:08)
Student Followers of the Imam's Line take hostages at the U.S. embassy in Tehran and several Iranian students in New York chain themselves to the Statue of Liberty—they all demand the return of the Shah. Protests against Iran occur in the U.S. (Credits)
"Crisis of Confidence" (05:14)
In 1979, the American psyche is negative and the economy is in decline; the Iran Hostage Crisis contributes to a sense of ineptitude. Foreign correspondents report on events in Tehran. The student occupiers demand the Shah's return to Iran and make threats against the hostages.
U.S. Embassy Occupation (05:31)
The State Department learns Ayatollah Khomeini supports the occupation. President Carter declares the U.S. will not yield to terrorism or blackmail; several instances of terrorism occur throughout the 1970s. U.S. officials plan a military hostage rescue mission.
Political Theater (07:05)
The Iran Hostage Crisis is the media story of the year; U.S. officials scrutinize news footage. The captors become sophisticated in managing the press; they release several women and African American men. Iran and the U.S. have little understanding of one another.
Masoumeh "Mary" Ebtekar and Carter (07:18)
Ebtekar takes a hardline position about the hostages. Barry Rosen recalls her interrogations. Carter will not set a deadline for resolution or take military action that could result in harm to the hostages. He speaks with the families of the hostages.
Supporting the Hostages (09:21)
Barbara Rosen recalls trying to navigate the press. The hostage crisis unifies Americans. People send large amounts of mail to the U.S. embassy in Tehran and publicly display yellow ribbons. Barry recalls Christmas in captivity and communicating with his family.
"Spy Confessions" (06:12)
The captors produce a film claiming U.S. embassy personnel engaged in espionage. Barry recalls captors forcing him to sign a confession and his mental state. Ebtekar states the hostages will be tried in an Islamic court. Barbara Rosen reflects on the mental toll of the crisis.
Hostage Negotiations (06:28)
Carter and Jordan Hamilton negotiate with Sadegh Ghotbzadeh. A U.N. Commission works to free the hostages; captors refuse access to the embassy. Khomeini undermines efforts, recognizing a power opportunity.
Hostage Negotiations: Next Steps (05:20)
By April, the negotiations have broken down and State Department staff secretly approach the White House. Public support of Carter's management diminishes. The families of the hostages are against military action.
Operation Eagle Claw (10:33)
Military personnel prepare for a hostage rescue mission in Tehran. James Roberts explains elements of the special operations and the outcome; eight men die.
Failed Rescue Mission (06:46)
Carter briefs the nation on the failed attempt. Roberts reflects on the location of Desert One. Ayatollah Khalkhali and other Iranians publicly display the bodies of the men who died and cheer.
Iranian Response to Rescue Attempt (04:15)
The captors move hostages to Evin Prison. Barry recalls a bird regularly sitting outside his window and learning the Shah died; his death does not affect the hostage situation.
Iran/Iraq War (03:37)
Saddam Hussein invades Iran in September 1980 and Iran fights back hard. The war takes a high toll on Iran but Khomeini refuses to release the hostages. Iranians see America as the Great Satan.
Iran Power Play (04:21)
Khomeini wants to defeat Carter; Ronald Reagan wins the U.S. presidential election. The hostages provide an excuse for hardliners to take control in Iran and Khomeini uses the war to eliminate political opponents. Police arrest Ghotbzadeh for trying to organize a revolt.
Crisis Resolution (08:11)
The hostage situation affects Iran’s finances. The Carter Administration negotiates a deal to obtain the hostages' release and completes banking transactions the night before the inauguration. Barry recalls his release. The plane does not take off until Regan takes the oath of office.
Day 444 (04:09)
The families of the hostages celebrate their release; they watch the passengers disembark in Algiers. Barry recalls the media reception.
Liberated Americans (04:39)
Carter and other officials meet the former hostages in Germany. Barry describes the meeting and speaking to Barbara on the phone. Carter addresses the press.
Welcome Home (04:05)
Barbara recalls Barry's arrival home. The former hostages and their families attend a White House reception and a tickertape parade. Barry reflects on his celebrity status; he and Barbara adjust to changes in their lives.
Foreign Relations (03:15)
Despite America's support of the Shah, a theocracy run by clerics who despise the U.S. gained control of Iran; the revolution affected the Muslim world. The hostage crisis impacts current U.S./Iran relations. Learn updates for Ghotbzadeh, Ebtekar, and the Rosens.
Credits: Taken Hostage: Episode 2 (01:06)
Credits: Taken Hostage: Episode 2
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