Segments in this Video

Introduction: Part 1: The Peacock Throne (Hostages) (03:02)


Iranian students take control of the American embassy in Tehran and hold several people hostage. (Credits)

Tehran, Iran (06:11)

Michael Metrinko and John Limbert discuss joining the embassy and their fascination with Iranian history and culture; Limbert marries a local woman. Mohammad Reza Shah Pahlavi is a modern monarch and pro-American; he visits the U.S.

American Embassy (06:39)

The embassy is one of the largest pieces of real estate in central Tehran. The Cold War and oil make Iran important to the U.S. Experts discuss Ambassador Ardeshir Zahedi and the U.S./Iran relationship. Iranian society is changing.

Persepolis Celebration (09:00)

Iran celebrates 2,500 years of history in 1971. The lavish event draws world attention and sparks criticism. Israeli and American intelligence help inform the Shah's secret police; they have a ruthless reputation. Reza Deghati recalls photographing social injustices and his arrest.

U.S./Iran Relations (04:53)

Jimmy Carter becomes U.S. president in 1977. He vows to support human rights and authorizes the sale of military hardware to Iran. The Shah visits the White House, sparking protests. Carter visits Iran and praises the Shah, angering many Iranians.

Ayatollah Khomeini (04:48)

Khomeini symbolizes religious opposition and leads the resistance against the Shah from Paris; Ebrahim Asgharzadeh recalls joining the movement and taping Khomeini's sermons. Elaine Sciolino becomes the first American woman to interview Khomeini.

Political Dissent (06:46)

Protests against the Shah erupt in Iran and demonstrations in Tehran intensify. Khomeini calls for political revolution and people fill the city streets. Carter expects the Shah to maintain power; the U.S. embassy does not recognize the danger.

Iranian Revolution (04:19)

Khomeini calls for a general strike. The Shah believes his army is loyal. As protests continue, the Shah begins losing control of the situation.

Political Fugitives (06:19)

In January 1979, the Shah leaves Iran. On February 1, journalists accompany Khomeini on his return flight to Tehran; millions of people fill the streets. Experts question whether a bloody revolution will occur.

Political Turmoil (06:17)

On February 10, 1979, the Iranian military revolts. Revolutionaries take control of the Shah's palace. Bill Branigin recalls the violence in Tehran and an attack on the American embassy. Khomeini's supporters urge a ceasefire and protect the embassy; the U.S. government evacuates non-essential staff.

Credits: Part 1: The Peacock Throne (Hostages) (01:02)

Credits: Part 1: The Peacock Throne (Hostages)

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Part 1: The Peacock Throne (Hostages)

Part of the Series : Hostages
3-Year Streaming Price: $169.95



Under the rule of Mohammad Reza Shah, Iran experiences an oil-driven economic boom, but the government’s excesses and repressive tactics lead to increasing hostility towards the monarch and his closest ally: the United States. As religious cleric Ayatollah Khomeini grows in popularity, the Shah flees and the country becomes engulfed in revolution, endangering the U.S. embassy.

Length: 60 minutes

Item#: BVL283441

Copyright date: ©2022

Closed Captioned

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