Hostage Drama – The view from Tehran – America, effigies and pissed-off people.

– CBS Radio News + Bulletin – November 21, 1979 – Gordon Skene Sound Collection –

As the hostage drama at the American Embassy in Tehran continued, flare ups were being reported in other places. A bulletin on this November 21st in 1979 reported Iranian students had stormed the U.S. Embassy in Islamabad, Pakistan. At the time there was no word on casualties, but hints there were some. The Pakistani Army was mildly detached from the situation; sending helicopters flying over the burning Embassy, but not landing and not offering help to the employees under siege.

Meanwhile, in Tehran it was another day of burning effigies, Death-To-America chants and threats. The Ayatollah indicated the Embassy officials would be put on trial as spies unless the Shah was returned. President Carter flew back to the White House from Camp David and issued a statement saying they were actively pursuing all avenues of peaceful settlement in the crisis, but wasn’t ruling out a possible Military solution. The Pentagon announced it was beefing up its Naval presence in the Indian Ocean near Iran with the aircraft carrier Kittyhawk summoned to the area to join other ships.

Western media described the crisis as an “entanglement” of “vengeance and mutual incomprehension.” U.S. President Jimmy Carter called the hostage-taking an act of “blackmail” and the hostages “victims of terrorism and anarchy.” In Iran, it was widely seen as an act against the U.S. and its influence in Iran, including its perceived attempts to undermine the Iranian Revolution and its longstanding support of the Shah.

Another day of tension, diplomacy and finger waving as presented by CBS Radio News for November 21, 1979.

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