Office of the Historian
Bureau of Public Affairs
United States Department of State
November 17, 2020
The Department of State released today Foreign Relations of the United States, 1977–1980, Volume XI, Part 1, Iran: Hostage Crisis, November 1979–September 1980.
This volume is part of a Foreign Relations subseries that documents the foreign policy decisions of the administration of President Jimmy Carter. The volume documents the Carter administration’s efforts to resolve the U.S.-Iranian crisis over the taking of U.S. hostages in Tehran. The absence of direct diplomatic communications between the United States and Iran during this period compelled the Carter administration to rely on a variety of official and unofficial intermediaries in its attempts to negotiate the release of the hostages. The administration considered and pursued a variety of diplomatic and economic strategies intended to convince the Iranian Government that it should take steps to end the crisis and secure the return of the hostages. Such moves included negotiations regarding the former Shah of Iran and his presence in the United States and other countries. The volume also documents Carter administration officials’ consideration of military pressure strategies, while they concurrently developed operational plans to rescue the hostages. Lack of success in the negotiation efforts led President Carter to authorize a military rescue mission in April 1980. The volume documents the rescue operation’s failure to free the hostages, as well as the Carter team’s handling of the mission aftermath and their continued work to achieve a resolution to the hostage crisis. The volume concludes in early September 1980, when Iran seated a new government and several leading Iranian officials publicly suggested their readiness to end the hostage crisis.
This volume was compiled and edited by Linda Qaimmaqami. The volume and this press release are available on the Office of the Historian website at https://history.state.gov/historicaldocuments/frus1977-80v11p1. Copies of the volume will be available for purchase from the U.S. Government Publishing Office online at http://bookstore.gpo.gov (GPO S/N 044-000-027-3-8; ISBN 978-0-16-095831-1), or by calling toll-free 1-866-512-1800 (D.C. area 202-512-1800). For further information, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.