On April 25, 1980, the United States launched a covert military operation, known as Operation Eagle Claw, in an attempt to airlift the US embassy staff held in the Iranian capital, Tehran.
However, a sandstorm hit and brought down the group of US military aircraft in the Tabas Desert, killing eight American servicemen and resulting in the failure of the mission. Inspections showed a helicopter crashed into a C-130 Hercules transport plane as five other choppers were stranded in the storm.
The units involved in the operation were from the US Air Force, Army, Navy and Marine Corps.
Speaking during a cabinet meeting on Wednesday, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani pointed to Washington’s failed plots against Iran over the past four decades, saying “historic US failure” in Tabas was a “divine miracle.”
“The Tabas incident was a great miracle from God” which led to the failure of the Americans’ “complicated military plot,” he said.
“Every day over the past 40 years, they (US officials) have been hatching a new plot against the Iranian people, but they have always failed and will fail again,” he stressed.
The Tabas incident occurred during the administration of former US President Jimmy Carter, and many believe it played a major role in Carter’s defeat in the 1980 presidential election in the US.
Iran commemorates the event every year as a symbol of the failure of US plots against the Islamic Republic.
During the takeover of the embassy, documents were discovered that proved some of the American embassy staff had been working with US intelligence agencies; meaning they were spies. Some 52 Americans were held in Tehran for 444 days, but later released unharmed.