Historical past[edit]

The return of the six American hostages.

On January 16, 1979 Mohammad Reza Pahlavi, the present Shah, fled Iran after utilizing “secret police” to manage the nation. On February 1, 1979 Ayatollah Khomeini, the previous chief of the opposition to the Shah, returned to Iran and took energy as chief of Iran. On April 1, 1979, after a country-wide vote, Ayatollah Khomeini declared Iran an Islamic Republic and Ayatollah Khomeini was named the supreme non secular chief. [1] Seven months later, on November 4, 1979 Iranian Islamic college students stormed the U.S. embassy taking 90 folks hostage, 66 of which have been People. The scholars have been protesting towards the Shah being within the U.S. to obtain medical remedy for most cancers. They demanded the US extradite the Shah in order that he could also be put to trial in Iran. Two weeks later, all non-U.S. hostages have been launched. [2]

There have been 9 People who slid out of a again door on November 4, 1979. 4 of the 9 have been caught and made into hostages. The remaining 5 People moved across the metropolis for the following week earlier than calling the Canadian Embassy. On November 10, 1979, the Canadians started hiding the 5 People. One week later, one other American, who was away from the embassy on the day of the takeover, joined the People on the Canadian Embassy. [3]

On January 20, 1981, (which was the identical day as Ronald Reagan’s inauguration,) the 52 remaining hostages have been launched, then despatched on to the Tehran airport, and flown to west Germany after their 14 months ordeal of being held in captivity. [4], [5]

Studio Six Productions[edit]

Robert Anders, one of many six escapees from the Iranian Hostage Disaster in 1979 shows his pretend “Studio 6” enterprise card.

Antonio Mendez, a Central Intelligence Company ex-filtration officer, was put accountable for getting the six People out of Iran. He started brainstorming on a strategy to get the People out of Iran. He determined to create a pretend manufacturing firm searching for a location to movie. Thus, Studio Six Productions was created. Mendez felt as if a rescue mission consisting of navy motion was out of the query based mostly on the geographic location of Tehran. Mendez and Jerome Calloway , a Hollywood buddy, learn by scripts looking for the perfect one. They needed one which was science fiction and happened within the Center East. Calloway and Mendez lastly selected one script that they renamed ‘Argo’ after an inside joke between the 2 males. Calloway helped to arrange a pretend studio location in Hollywood together with ads and press releases. Mendez arrived in Europe on January 22 and arrived in Iran on the morning of January 25th. Mendez and Julio, a second agent despatched to help within the rescue, met the six People later that day within the Canadian Embassy. By the night of January 27th, all paperwork (passports and embarking slips) have been accomplished, with the assistance of Kenneth Taylor. The six People have been rapidly studying their components for the manufacturing firm even utilizing one another’s clothes to make new outfits to assist “get into the position.” Interrogation checks happened that evening to copy what may occur on the airport. This take a look at helped the People higher perceive their roles and again tales. On Monday morning, January 28, 1980, Mendez, Julio, and the People have been set to go away Iran by the Mehrabad Airport on a Swissair flight. Clearing safety was pretty easy. Because the eight started clearing the ultimate safety examine to board the Swissair flight, a delay of the flight was introduced on account of mechanical issues. After an hour of ready, the flight was in a position to board. By lunch time on January 28, 1980, Mendez, Julio, and the six People have been safely in Zurich, Switzerland and the rescue had been a hit.[6][7]

Moral Issues[edit]

People displaying gratitude to the Canadians

Canadians performed central position within the Iran operation. They weren’t bystanders even to outsiders. Canada’s position within the Canadian Caper was revealed three months after they assisted the People to security. The incident caused an outpouring of pro-Canadian sentiment in the US.[8] The operation itself was initiated at nice private threat to Canadians and Canadian property. The Canadians didn’t hesitate to supply assist when the repercussions got. Their skilled boundaries prolonged past that of their nation as they exemplified braveness and integrity.

They have been sticking their necks out greater than we have been. They might be in additional hassle for harboring us.[9]

—Robert Anders, Consular Official of the usEmbassy

Kenneth Taylor[edit]

Kenneth Taylor performed an important position in offering intelligence on the hostage disaster to Canadian and American intelligence businesses.[10] The Canadian Ambassador first heard of the Embassy takeover from his Swedish colleague. He had been head of Canada’s Commerce Commissioner Service when he was despatched to Tehran in 1977 as a result of Iran, underneath the Shah, was a buying and selling accomplice of rising significance. Fortunately, he proved to be greater than a salesman. In January 1979, when the Shah’s regime was collapsing, he organized the evacuation of 850 Canadians from Iran. Kenneth Taylor was the precise man, in the precise job, on the proper time.[11] He proved to be a pacesetter as soon as once more. Taylor was the mastermind who orchestrated the evacuation course of. Taylor helped the six People escape by getting them Canadian passports to help in getting previous the Iranian Revolutionary guard. On the night earlier than the escape, Kenneth Taylor drew a sketch of the inside of Mehrabad Airport terminal to information the six People to security. Taylor excelled in ensuring the People have been secure all whereas realizing the operation itself was an excellent private threat. Telegrams have been despatched on Taylor’s behalf, as he made positive consciousness was unfold.

I feel we carried it out with a level of professionalism and kind of in a cool and calculated means.[12]

—Kenneth Taylor, Canadian Diplomat

Taylor agreed to deal with two of the six People alongside his colleague John Sheardown, who agreed to deal with the remaining 4.

John Sheardown[edit]

John Sheardown, Canada’s Chief Immigration Officer, was whom American Official Robert Anders first contacted.[13] Being an previous buddy to Anders, Sheardown made it his responsibility to assist when Anders requested for shelter. He invited Anders and his colleagues to remain on the house he shared along with his spouse. Mr. Anders recollects Sheardown’s preliminary response: “Why did you wait so lengthy to name me? Come on over”. [14] Sheardown’s response realizing confidently that he and Taylor have been as much as the duty:

Hell, sure. In fact. Depend on us.[15]

—John Sheardown, Head immigration official

Sheardown and Taylor additionally provided to soak up any and all of Tehran’s international correspondents ought to they get into hassle with the unpredictable revolutionaries. The Sheardowns sheltered 4 of the six People for 79 days of their 20-room house within the coronary heart of Tehran. [16] Housing 4 individuals underneath one roof isn’t straightforward; that they had an Iranian gardener and a Filipino maid. In the course of the months they housed the People, the Sheardowns took artistic precautions to keep away from tipping off the authorities. Sheardown needed to drive to a number of grocery shops day by day and take rubbish with him on path to work, to camouflage the quantity of refuse they have been producing all whereas being underneath Iranian surveillance. [17] Mr. Anders even states that it was John who stored their confidence excessive and who stored them feeling safe by the months.[18] He demonstrated loyalty. “It might have been egocentric of us not to take action,” Mrs. Sheardown instructed the Related Press. “There weren’t many locations to cover in Iran, we had the room, they wanted our assist and it was simply not in John’s nature to refuse assist to anybody.”[19]

Flora MacDonald[edit]

Flora McDonald urged transferring the People out of Iran, a choice based mostly on Taylor’s promptings and warnings. It was a choice that U.S Authorities officers have been pushing aside. As Canada’s formal Exterior Affairs Officer, Flora MacDonald’s foresight and persistence set the evacuation plan that Ken Taylor launched into movement. A transfer that might have simply failed.[20] Flora MacDonald knew how necessary it was to assist the People quickly, and as a superior to Taylor she knew it was her responsibility to ensure Taylor’s warnings have been being heard. She was non-paternalistic in her obligations as Taylor’s superior. MacDonald grew to become a significant level of contact for the American authorities officers. This was across the time suspicions have been escalating and it was important {that a} choice be made. One might ask if it was not for Flora MacDonald’s persistence and stress, would the U.S. have proceeded to rescue the People in time? We will assume that if she didn’t communicate up when Taylor wanted the help, the outcomes might have been detrimental for each events.

Jean Pelletier[edit]

As The Washington correspondent of the Quebec paper La Presse, Jean Pelletier, had been curious concerning the scenario. He was first alerted by the truth that U.S. officers have been referring to completely different numbers of hostages. He discovered it arduous to consider that the People didn’t know precisely how many individuals that they had in Tehran. Advised by the Minister at Canada’s Washington Embassy, Gilles Mathieu, that Canada was “probably the most helpful American ally within the disaster,” Pelletier assumed that the American escapees have been harbored by the Canadians.[21] He approached the Canadian Embassy for affirmation. Canadian Ambassador to the US Peter Towe, warned Pelletier of the hazard to the People ought to the story be damaged and urged him to carry off on publication. Pelletier, knew the implications of publishing and had already determined that he wouldn’t break the story till the People have been safely out of Iran. It was a career-making scoop, and Pelletier’s managing editor needed it in his newspaper immediately.[22] His colleagues additionally didn’t agree along with his conclusion. Pelletier refused:

You’ll be able to’t simply merely apply your precept of publish-and-be-damned to each scenario, no matter circumstance. [23]

—Jean Pelletier, Information reporter

As an expert who demonstrated true integrity, Pelletier managed to persuade his managing editor and crew, to agree to not publish instantly.

Much less moral journalists won’t attain the identical conclusion.[24]

—Peter Towe, Canadian Ambassador to the U.S.

Generalizable Lesson[edit]

There have been many Canadians concerned within the rescue of the six American hostages. Whereas Kenneth Taylor’s work and energy claimed him fame and a number of awards within the U.S, the others stood out as unsung heroes. You will need to see that every particular person impacted each other indirectly. One couldn’t do it alone. This show of worldwide co-operation exhibits that as professionals, you will need to have braveness and integrity. With out these traits, the Canadians would have been bystanders permitting the People to be captured. What direct motive did they’ve in interfering with such circumstances? We knew how a lot they may lose, however what would they achieve? Kenneth Taylor and John Sheardown took on this mission out of loyalty to an previous buddy. Flora MacDonald agreed that it needs to be high precedence, although it didn’t concern Canada and Jean Pelletier proved even the small job might have big outcomes.

The Secrecy Impact[edit]

Jean Pelletier had the information scoop of a life time. He might have uncovered the six People on the Canadian Embassy and sky rocketed his profession. As an alternative, he realized the importance of protecting this story underneath wraps for the protection of the People and Canadians alike. By protecting the story of the Canadians harboring the People, Jean Pelletier confirmed true professionalism. He put his job apart and stood up for what was proper and mandatory on the time. Via his integrity, the Secrecy Impact is discovered, or the flexibility to do get up for what is true, even if you find yourself pressured.

The Canadian Impact[edit]

The Canadians on this story confirmed true professionalism. Kenneth Taylor and John Sheardown have been placing their lives on the road to assist shield 5 random people not together with Roberts Anders who was an previous buddy. This was made a bit simpler with the approval of their superior, Flora McDonald who was placing the nation’s status on the road. Via their braveness and loyalty, the Canadian Impact is discovered, or the flexibility to do the precise factor with no worry of consequence. The Canadians have been going above and past by taking within the six People with none questions and caring for them till they have been as soon as once more secure.


  1. Iran Chamber Society. (2013). Islamic revolution of 1979. http://www.iranchamber.com/historical past/islamic_revolution/islamic_revolution.php
  2. 1979: Militants storm US embassy in Tehran. (2005, November 4). BBC Information. http://information.bbc.co.uk/onthisday/hello/dates/tales/november/4/newsid_3910000/3910627.stm
  3. Wald, M. (1980, February 12). Iran embassy escapee says eight fled with him however Four have been captured. The New York Occasions. http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2012/10/17/films/17argo-document.html?_r=1&
  4. Weismen, S. (1981, January 20). Reagan takes oath as 40th president; guarantees an ‘period of nationwide renewal’. The New York Occasions. http://www.nytimes.com/studying/normal/onthisday/huge/0120.html
  5. Johnson, S., & Johnson, S. (2013, March 11). Frozen in time: Eerie footage contained in the . Mail On-line. http://www.dailymail.co.uk/information/article-2291526/Frozen-time-The-eery-U-S-embassy-Iran-screaming-mob-held-52-citizens-hostage-1979-museum-opens-just-days-year.html
  6. Mendez, A. & Baglio, M. (2012, September 17). The true story behind operation ‘Argo’ to rescue People from Iran. The Day by day Beast, http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2012/09/17/the-true-story-behind-operation-argo-to-rescue-americans-from-iran.html
  7. Mendez, A. Central Intelligence Company, Historic Doc. (2008). A basic case of deception. https://www.cia.gov/library/center-for-the-study-of-intelligence/csi-publications/csi-studies/research/winter99-00/art1.html
  8. 1980: Canadian Caper helps People escape Tehran (n.d.). http://www.cbc.ca/archives/classes/politics/international-politics/revolution-in-iran/canadian-caper-helps-americans-escape-tehran.html
  9. Iran Embassy Escapee Says eight Fled With Him However Four Had been Captured (Feb. 13, 1980). http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2012/10/17/films/17argo-document.html?_r=1&
  10. Former Canadian Ambassador Admits To Spying For CIA (2010). http://www.rferl.org/content material/Former_Canadian_Ambassador_Admits_To_Spying_For_CIA/1938176.html
  11. Ken Taylor and the Canadian Caper (2012). http://www.worldwide.gc.ca/history-histoire/people-gens/ken_taylor.aspx
  12. The Gazette – Ken Taylor says Canadians performed central position in Iran operation. Retrieved from http://www.montrealgazette.com/leisure/Taylor+says+Canadians+performed+central+position+Iran+operation/8014295/story.html
  13. The Canadian Caper. https://www.thecanadianencyclopedia.ca/en/article/the-canadian-caper-feature
  14. Iran Embassy Escapee Says eight Fled With Him However Four Had been Captured (Feb. 13, 1980). http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2012/10/17/films/17argo-document.html?_r=1&
  15. The Canadian Caper. https://www.thecanadianencyclopedia.ca/en/article/the-canadian-caper-feature
  16. IBT – John Sheardown Dies; Canadian Diplomat Who Sheltered People In Iran Hostage Disaster Did Not Seem In ‘Argo’. (2013) http://www.ibtimes.com/john-sheardown-dies-canadian-diplomat-who-sheltered-americans-iran-hostage-crisis-did-not-appear
  17. John Sheardown, Canadian Diplomat Who Saved American “Argo” Hostages in Iran, RIP. (2013) http://www.debbieschlussel.com/57941/john-sheardown-canadian-diplomat-who-saved-american-argo-hostages-in-iran-rip/
  18. Iran Embassy Escapee Says eight Fled With Him However Four Had been Captured (Feb. 13, 1980). http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2012/10/17/films/17argo-document.html?_r=1&
  19. IBT – John Sheardown Dies; Canadian Diplomat Who Sheltered People In Iran Hostage Disaster Did Not Seem In ‘Argo’. (2013) http://www.ibtimes.com/john-sheardown-dies-canadian-diplomat-who-sheltered-americans-iran-hostage-crisis-did-not-appear
  20. The Windsor Star (March 28, 1981) – Iran Rescue: Our Bashful Heroes. http://information.google.com/newspapers?id=1ttYAAAAIBAJ&sjid=QlIMAAAAIBAJ&pg=1072,3794740
  21. Ken Taylor and the Canadian Caper (2012). http://www.worldwide.gc.ca/history-histoire/people-gens/ken_taylor.aspx
  22. The Canadian Caper. http://www.thecanadianencyclopedia.com/featured/the-canadian-caper
  23. 30: Thirty Years of Journalism and Democracy in Canada : The Minifie Lectures, 1981 – 2010 (pg. 343)
  24. Ken Taylor and the Canadian Caper (2012). http://www.worldwide.gc.ca/history-histoire/people-gens/ken_taylor.aspx

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