The Corner

Embassy Anniversary

Today marks the 27th anniversary of the Iranian seizure of the US embassy in Tehran, which occurred three days after Washington extended a hand of friendship to the Islamic Republic.  Almost three decades later, the Islamic Republic’s leadership is anything but apologetic.  Today, Parliamentary Speaker Gholam Ali Haddad Adel said the embassy seizure had “forged awe in the Middle East and the world.”  This attitude isn’t limited to so-called hardliners.  In her memoirs, Masoumeh Ebtekar, Muhammad Khatami’s handpicked “reformist” vice president, detailed how regime leaders blessed and supported the embassy take-over.  In Farsi newspapers today, headlines celebrate the “thousands of Iranians shouting death to America.”  As the Baker-Hamilton Commission is poised to recommend entrusting US national security to Tehran’s good faith, it makes sense to consider Tehran’s long history of breaking its diplomatic commitments, here.

Michael Rubin is a resident scholar at the American Enterprise Institute, senior lecturer at the Naval Postgraduate School’s Center for Civil-Military Relations, and a senior editor of the Middle East Quarterly.

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