Iran hostage crisis
(4 Nov. 1979–20 Jan. 1980)
Following the establishment of the Islamic Republic of Iran under Ayatollah Khomeini in 1979, public hostility against the USA, which had heavily sponsored the regime of Shah Reza Pahlavi, formed an important unifying force in the new state. Against this background, supporters of the revolution seized the US embassy in Tehran, taking 66 US citizens hostage. All efforts of President Carter to free the hostages failed, including economic measures and an abortive helicopter rescue attempt. The crisis dragged on through the American presidential election, until Algeria successfully mediated and the hostages were freed. It seriously weakened Carter's bid for re‐election.