On November 4, 1979, Iranian students stormed the U.S. embassy in Iran and took about 90 people (including 66 Americans) hostage. The students were supporters of Iran’s fundamentalist Islamic Revolution, which had overthrown the government. Most American hostages—52—were not released for 444 days.Supporters of the Islamic Revolution resented the perceived influence of the United States and other Western powers in Iranian politics and society. The U.S. had supported the Shah Reza Pahlavi, the autocratic leader of Iran, who was deposed in the revolution. The shah fled to the U.S. and was being treated for cancer at a Texas hospital when the hostages were taken.The Iran Hostage Crisis had both immediate and long-lasting consequences. Many historians say the crisis contributed to President Jimmy Carter’s defeat in the 1980 presidential election. (The hostages were released just hours before President Ronald Reagan was sworn into office.) Although the hostage crisis brought international attention to the young Islamic Republic of Iran, the country did not benefit from the tactic, either. The U.S. cut all support it had provided to Iran during the shah’s leadership. Neighboring nation Iraq took advantage of this vulnerability and invaded Iran in 1980. The U.S. provided military and financial support to Iraq during the brutal eight-year war that followed.
Term Part of Speech Definition Encyclopedic Entry advantage Noun
favor or benefit.
having to do with a government or leadership where one party or individual has all power.
extreme, harsh, or cruel.
growth of abnormal cells in the body.
result or outcome of an action or situation.
geographic territory with a distinct name, flag, population, boundaries, and government.
event or situation leading to dramatic change.
to remove from office.
selection of people to public office by vote.
residence of an ambassador or place where representatives of a nation conduct business in another country.
having to do with money.
organized movement or belief that advocates strict adherence to a religious doctrine and sacred text.
system or order of a nation, state, or other political unit.
person held as security until certain terms and conditions (such as payment of a ransom) are met.
quickly or right away.
force that effects the actions, behavior, or policies of others.
to enter and attack.
religion based on the words and philosophy of the prophet Mohammed.
to understand, especially by viewing.
art and science of public policy.
to reject or dismiss due to a sense of injury or insult.
overthrow or total change of government.
king of Persia or Iran.
large community, linked through similarities or relationships.
to deliver a violent attack or assault.
procedure or method for accomplishing a goal.
capability of being hurt.
large-scale armed conflict.
having to do with the developed nations of Europe and North America.