121. Draft Annex B (Intelligence) to JTF Oplan I–80 (Operation Rice Bowl)1

[Omitted here is Section 1 on Mission, Background, and Concept of Operations.]

Section 2: Situation

D. (TS) Guard Force Distribution2

(1) (TS) Compound Internal Security. The situation in the compound has now settled into a routine with demonstrations periodically staged outside the chancery/motor pool gate on Takhte-Jamshid Blvd. Crowd size varies from 50–75 curiosity seekers to several thousand at lunch/prayer time or when announcements go out via the radio and the local public address system.

(A) (TS) Security of the hostage areas is maintained by 125–150 personnel. Based on observations by a knowledgeable released hostage, personnel within the compound are made up of several factions in approximately the following proportions:

Actual Students 60 percent 80–90 personnel
Fatah Trained Militants 10 percent 12–15 personnel
Pasdaran 15 percent 20–25 personnel
Student Leadership Cadre (including university/religious leaders) 5 percent 7–9 personnel
PLO Advisors 3–5 percent 5–7 personnel

Note:3 PLO Advisors are probably only present during the day and in the evenings when strategy meetings are being held. The actual [Page 315] students function as personal guards of the hostages and as propagandists and ideologues trying to indoctrinate the hostages. The PLO function as observers, advisors, and propagandists. The Fatah trained militants supervise security, interrogation, and document exploitation. The Pasdaran, besides providing external security, maintain a presence within the compound, primarily providing sentries. Within the buildings, the students typically carry pistols or G–3 rifles. Those on duty outside typically are armed with G–3 rifles. Guards carrying rifles have not been observed carrying any spare magazines for their weapons.

(B) (TS) The number of personnel present seems to vary according to the occasion and day of the week. Other factors being equal, the number of personnel in the compound drops on Thursday and Friday (the Islamic weekend, when some leave to visit families). The number rises again on Saturdays and Sundays when there are typically a lot of meetings held, according to a released hostage. There is another reduction when some members of the occupation force (students) leave the compound to attend classes.

(C) (TS) Guard force distribution is estimated as follows with a day/night duty ratio of 60/40.

Amb residence 10–14

DCM residence 8–12

Servant quarters 12–16

Consulate 8–12

Chancery 8–12

Staff cottages 18–20

Warehouse 8–12

Interior perimeter 10–12

(D) The general pattern of guard positions within a hostage location is 1–3 guards per room. The guards seem to favor positions in doorways vice protected corners. Outside hostage locations, single sentries walk beats which generally parallel building walls and extend the length of the building protected.

(E) Within the compound several defensive construction measures have been noted. The athletic fields have been blocked to helicopter traffic with parked cars and 6–8 foot stakes which have been driven into the ground. Anti-helicopter stakes have also been placed on the roof of the warehouse building. The probability exists that mines or demolitions have been positioned around the athletic fields. One hostage mentioned trip-wires connected to bells or other noise makers in his debriefing statement, and other hostages have mentioned hearing buzzers before people entered their area, possibly as part of a warning system of some sort. The students have installed additional lighting and loudspeakers in several locations. They are reportedly using some [Page 316] of the security systems in the compound, which include closed circuit television, alarm systems, and electronic door locks. Three base station radios; in the Ambassador residence, the Consulate, and the chancery are probably used to control security activities in and around the compound. In addition there are believed to be at least three rooftop observer positions in the compound which are probably manned at night. The locations are motor pool roof, chancery roof, penthouse of Ambassador’s residence.

[Omitted here is the remainder of Section 2 on Situation, Section 3 on Intelligence Activities, Section 4 on Assignment of Intelligence Tasks, and Section 5 on Miscellaneous Instructions.]

  1. Source: Department of Defense, Joint Chiefs of Staff Records, RG 218–07–0002, Records of J3/DDSO, Box 8, Iranian Hostage Crisis 1979–1984, I–93, Rice Bowl Annex B (Intelligence) JTF Oplan 1–80. An unknown hand wrote at the top of the page: “DOI: As of late Jan 80. Drafted in late Dec 79.”
  2. An unknown hand struck through “Guard Force Distribution” and wrote “Enemy Forces (Embassy)” above it.
  3. An unknown hand struck through “Note.”