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Old 28-08-2011, 02:33 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by lordofangels View Post
Iran embassy SAS commander John McAleese dies
As the SAS left one trooper grabbed the insurance certificate noticing that it had expired ...

The Iranian Embassy Siege of 1980 was a siege of the Iranian embassy in London after it had been taken over by Iranian Arab separatists. The siege was ended when the Special Air Service (SAS), a British special forces unit, stormed the building in Operation Nimrod. The incident brought the SAS to the world's attention as the whole episode was played out in front of the Media.

BBC Iranian Embassy Siege Documentary pt 1

At 11:30 on 30 April 1980 a six-man team calling itself the Democratic Revolutionary Movement for the Liberation of Arabistan (DRMLA) captured the embassy of the Islamic Republic of Iran in Prince's Gate, South Kensington in central London.

BBC Iranian Embassy Siege Documentary pt 2

Initially the group's demands were for the autonomy of an Arab-majority petroleum-rich region in southern Iran known as Khūzestān (the Arabistan of the group's name); later they demanded the release of ninety-one of their comrades, alleged political prisoners of the Iranian government, held in jails in Iran.

When the group first stormed the building, 26 hostages were taken (including PC Trevor Lock, the police constable on official protection duty at the main entrance, and two visiting BBC personnel – journalist Chris Cramer and sound recordist Sim Harris – who had stopped by to pick up visas), but five were released over the following few days. Police negotiators attempted to mollify the gunmen with supplies of food and cigarettes, and on the third day a statement by the group was broadcast on BBC Radio 2 following threats to KILL a hostage (which was missed by the group as they were tuning in to RADIO 4 instead).

BBC Iranian Embassy Siege Documentary pt 3

On the SIXTH day of the siege, the kidnappers KILLED a hostage, press attaché Abbas Lavasani, who joined up optionally, and threw his body outside. Covered by armed police, two men carrying a stretcher collected his body and took it to an ambulance, while keeping low to avoid gunfire. This marked an escalation of the situation and prompted Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher's decision to proceed with the rescue operation.


There was controversy over the deaths of some of the terrorists, especially of Shai and Makki. They were guarding the Iranian hostages, and towards the end of the raid the hostages persuaded the men to surrender. Hostages witnessed them throw down their weapons and sit on the floor with their hands on their heads when the SAS troops entered the room. Weapons being thrown out of a window and a white flag were seen by video cameras outside.

Ahmad Dadgar, a hostage at the time (confirmed by two other hostages) said (of the SAS):
"They then took the two terrorists, pushed them against the wall and shot them. They wanted to finish their story. That was their job." [They might have] "had something in their pockets, but they certainly had no weapons in their hands at the time."

At a coroner's inquest the SAS were cleared of unlawful conduct by a jury. One of the soldiers said that he thought Makki was going for a gun, and another said he thought Shai had a hand grenade and shot him in the back of the neck.

Margaret Thatcher and her husband Denis paid a visit to the SAS at Regent's Park barracks after the incident to thank them. "Tom", one of the SAS soldiers present, said of a later meeting with Denis Thatcher:
"He had a big grin on his face and said, 'You let one of the bastards live.' We failed in that respect."

The lone surviving terrorist, Fowzi Nejad, was tried and convicted for his part in the siege, and was sentenced to life imprisonment. He became eligible for parole in 2005.

In the Conservative government's election broadcast of June 1983, a television clip of the SAS raid on the embassy was used as an example of how Britain had stood firm on terrorism and (unlike several other countries at the time) refused to surrender to the demands of terrorists under Mrs Thatcher.


Stranglers - Shah Shah a go go

Last edited by lightgiver; 28-08-2011 at 02:37 PM.
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