The day the Iran hostage crises started – level 2


In 1979, there is a revolution in Iran. It ends the rule of the Shah. Iran becomes an Islamic republic. The Shah wants to go to the United States to go to a hospital because he is ill. Americans aren’t happy but agree.

On November 4, 1979, there is a large protest of students who support the revolution in Tehran. American flags are burnt. People ask for the Shah’s return because they want to judge him for his crimes. Protesters go to the US embassy. Employees of the embassy become hostages. The country’s main spiritual leader, Ayatollah Khomeini, supports the takeover of the US embassy.

The Americans are trying to help the hostages through diplomacy, but that doesn’t work. Then the Americans prepare a military rescue plan. They send 8 helicopters with specially trained soldiers to Iran.

However, rescue operations aren’t successful. Three helicopters have technical problems, and one helicopter crashes into another American plane. The hostages stay in Iran for 444 days. Then they can go home.

Difficult words: revolution (a big change in a country such as to change the government), rule (control), republic (a government where officials listen to the people), burnt (destroyed by fire), judge (to decide if you are guilty in court), embassy (an office which represents one country in another country), hostage (a person who others capture because they want money or something for the person).

What factors led to the United States' unsuccessful rescue attempt of the American embassy hostages?


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