April 8, 1980 – The Iran Crisis: Day 157 – Packing Bags, Shutting Doors, Closing Embassies, Imposing Sanctions
April 8, 1980 – With the U.S. Embassy situation in Tehran dragging on for 157 days and with no end in sight, President Carter announced sweeping counter-measures with reference to Iranians still in the U.S. and Iranian Embassies and Consulates still open. Reaction from Iran was noticeably silent at first, but the Militants holding the hostages were reported to have said this new wrinkle in relations wasn’t going to change a thing. The Ayatollah then chimed in saying it was a good thing, because it offered further proof that the U.S. was The Great Satan in the eyes of Tehran and the rest of the world. Meanwhile, Iran’s ruling Revolutionary Council was meeting in emergency session to discuss reactions to this latest move by President Carter; cutting off diplomatic relations and imposing economic sanctions. While there was no official comment yet, many were saying this latest move by Carter was only going to strengthen Iran’s resolve and dig us a bit deeper in the rabbit hole.
Carter announced Iranian diplomats still in the U.S. had 24 hours to pack up and go home. Embassies and consulates all over the country were under the watchful eye of Marshals and FBI agents. Within moments of the announcement, the Iranian consulate on the 79th floor of Chicago’s Standard Oil building was evacuated on orders of the FBI. Agents for the FBI, State Department and Immigration Service then entered the consulate to check on the personnel. Iranian students with legal visas were escorted to the elevator and out of the building. The remaining Consulate workers were told to pack up and get out. The ousted Iranians refused to talk to waiting reporters, instead opting to flash middle fingers at the press.
Meanwhile, reactions varied from tacit approval to disappointment it wasn’t done soon enough.
All that, and a lot more including reports of a rash of Tornados sweeping the midwest, and April 4th 1980 marked the first day natives evacuated from Eniwetak Island were allowed to come back, after being gone for some 37 years while the U.S. blasted the island with Atomic testing. Home, strange Home. Just a bit of what happened from CBS Radio News, The World News Roundup and Newsbreak.