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Today In Twisted History

(Iranian students climb over the wall of the US embassy in Tehran 04 November 1979)

Day 156 of the Iranian Hostage Crisis: April 7, 1979 

Ruhollah Khomeini (former supreme leader of Iran) rules the embassy hostages must remain in the hands of the militants. In response, the United States breaks diplomatic relations with Iran, expelling 35 diplomats remaining in the country and imposing a series of economic sanctions. Iran's armed forces are put on alert after the neighboring Iraq forces attack an Iranian border post and nearby oil facilities. Iran orders its diplomats home from Iraq.

In September 1980 the Iraqi military invaded Iran, beginning the Iran–Iraq War. These events led the Iranian government to enter negotiations with the U.S., with Algeria acting as a mediator. The crisis is considered a turning point in the hostage crisis. 

(A blindfolded American hostage with his hands tied up is brought out on to the compound of the embassy by students) 

Political analysts cited the standoff as a major factor in the continuing downfall of Carter's presidency and his landslide loss in the 1980 presidential election. The hostages were formally released into United States custody the day after the signing of the Algiers Accords, just minutes after American President Ronald Reagan was sworn into office.

How the remaining hostages were exactly transported to West Germany (after 444 days as hostages) is detailed in the 2012 movie 'Argo' directed by Ben Affleck. Screenwriter Chris Terrio adapted the story from the book by the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency operative Tony Mendez, and the 2007 Wired article by Joshuah Bearman, "The Great Escape: How the CIA Used a Fake Sci-Fi Flick to Rescue Americans from Tehran."  

The latter details what's knows as the "Canadian Caper," in which Mendez led the rescue of six U.S. diplomats from Tehran, Iran, under the guise of filming a science fiction film. 

'Argo' received seven nominations at the 85th Academy Awards and won for Best Picture, Best Adapted Screenplay, and Best Film Editing. 

(Argo director Ben Affleck accepts the Oscar for Best Movie onstage at the 85th Annual Academy Awards)

Despite its big night at The Oscars, Argo praise has since been revised. Some are critical of inaccuracies, like minimizing the role of the Canadian embassy in the rescue, or for falsely showing that the Americans were turned away by the British and New Zealand embassies. The film is also accused of exaggerating the danger the group faced during events preceding their escape from the country.

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Don't forget, this Wednesday on Twisted History we discuss 'the butterfly effect' with guest co-host Jerry Thornton