The United States launched a covert military operation, known as Operation Eagle Claw on April 24, 1980, to airlift the US embassy staff held in the Iranian capital of Tehran.
The operation was aborted after the forces faced various obstacles and what eventually happened in Tabas Desert. US forces were hit by a sand storm, leading to the crash of a helicopter with a C-130 plane that killed eight servicemen and resulted in the failure of the operation. The units involved in the operation were from the US Air Force, Army, Navy, and Marine Corps.
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.
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.
Iran commemorates the event every year as a symbol of the failure of US plots against the Islamic Republic.
This is a reminder of the White House which seems eager to raise tensions with Iran. It is some two years that the Trump administration has walked out of UN-endorsed Iran nuclear deal, starting the so-called ‘Maximum Pressure’ policy to force Tehran into new negotiations. The pressure has so far failed as Tehran highlights there will be no talks with a party that has already violated several international agreements.
The White House has refused to ease the sanctions against Iran even amid the pandemic. Meanwhile, it has commenced moves to erupt tensions with Iran during the past week in the Persian Gulf waters. And even President Trump said that he has ordered its forces to shoot Iranian vessels.
Iran has proved its defense power on several occasions. The last two military encounters of Iran with the US, was a warning to Washington. The first important one came in June 2019 when home-made Iranian air defense systems brought down an intruding advanced Global Hawk drone. And the next one was Iran’s response to the US’ assassination of Lieutenant General Ghasem Solaimani in January 2020 when IRGC targeted Al Asad airbase with numerous missiles.
Iran has time and again showed that it is not afraid of defending its territory and standing against hostile transnational presence in the region.