Segments in this Video

Failed Rescue Mission (04:49)


"O Superman" is Laurie Anderson's response to failure. John Limbert recalls learning the military made a rescue attempt. Experts and hostage family members reflect on the effects of the failed attempt. The student captors move hostages out of the embassy compound. (Credits)

Day 270: July 30, 1980 (05:35)

The Shah dies in Cairo, Egypt. Efforts to resolve the hostage crisis are in limbo. Iran holds a presidential election; Abolhassan Bani-Sadr wins, but Ayatollah Khomeini is the real leader. Khomeini refuses to release the hostages; demonstrators do not want compromise.

Days 324-362: September-October 1980 (05:59)

Kathryn Koob recalls learning that Iraq has invaded Iran. Civilian casualties are high and Iran relies on American military hardware. The Carter Administration initially believes Iran will return the hostages before the election, but negotiations drag on.

Day 365-366: November 2-3, 1980 (04:05)

The hostage crisis anniversary is the lead news story during the election season. A pollster tells Carter he will lose the election; Reagan projects strength and appeals to voters. Some people worry about how the transition of power will affect the hostage situation.

Days 414-418: December 1980 (04:09)

John Limbert recalls his time in isolation and the importance of a stolen radio. Algerian diplomats mediate hostage negotiations; the U.S. refuses Iran's financial demands. Koob recalls her second Christmas in captivity.

Continued Hostage Negotiations (03:02)

Warren Christopher and his team identify all of Iran's frozen assets; Iran also has loans with major banks. The final months of the crisis are exhausting. Some experts blame the captors for the continued crisis while others blame Khomeini.

End Game (03:57)

Former hostages reflect on the treatment they received during what would be their final days of captivity. Massoumeh Ebtekar leads the hostages in televised interviews; there are things they can and cannot say.

Days 440-443: January 1981 (02:51)

The Iranians offer to pay off all the bank loans after the U.S. returns $8 billion in frozen assets; a third party will hold the money. Carter signs all documents hours before Reagan's inauguration. The control tower in Tehran confirms plane preparations are underway.

Day 444: January 20, 1981 (07:25)

Former hostages recall their release from captivity. The plane does not leave the airport until after Reagan officially becomes president. Bani-Sadr claims Iranians were in secret talks with Reagan's team to keep the hostages in captivity until after Election Day. Officials discuss the "October Surprise."

Hostage Liberation (06:28)

Former hostages recall their concerns aboard the plane. Reagan announces the plane's departure from Iranian airspace. The plane lands in Wiesbaden, Germany; Carter greets the hostages. The hostages arrive to a massive procession in the U.S.

Crisis Aftermath (06:00)

Former hostages reflect on the impact of their captivity. Iranians discuss changes in Iran after the Revolution and hostage crisis; Khomeini orders the execution of over 4,000 political prisoners. Ebtekar justifies the embassy takeover; she becomes the first female vice president of the Islamic Republic of Iran.

Foreign Relations (03:56)

The U.S./Iran relationship remains hostile. Many young Iranians are angry with Scheherezade Faramarzi's generation. Ebrahim Asgharzadeh recognizes the tragedy of the students' actions. Mohsen Mirdamadi reflects on Revolution achievement.

Credits: Part 4: The Transaction (Hostages) (01:02)

Credits: Part 4: The Transaction (Hostages)

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Part 4: The Transaction (Hostages)

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



A year into the siege, Carter works furiously to secure a deal as the 1980 U.S. presidential election approaches. As Ronald Reagan prepares to take office, the outgoing administration enters a final, desperate diplomatic push. Today, those on both sides of the conflict weigh in on the crisis’ complex and enduring legacy.

Length: 60 minutes

Item#: BVL283444

Copyright date: ©2022

Closed Captioned

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