The Presidency of Jimmy Carter

Foreign policy and the Iran Hostage Crisis

In the agreement, known as the Camp David Accords, Egypt recognized the state of Israel in return for regaining control of the Sinai Peninsula.

In January 1979, Muslim fundamentalists overthrew the ruling shah of Iran. The shah had been installed as dictator with the help of the CIA in 1953, and the fundamentalists wanted to rid Iran of secular, Western influences.

In November 1979, Iranian militants seized the US Embassy in Tehran, taking 66 Americans hostage. They demanded that the United States return the shah (who had fled to New York for medical treatment) and his assets to Iran. Fourteen hostages were released within a few months, but negotiations to free the 52 others dragged on for over a year. A complex rescue raid failed. Finally, the United States agreed to pay the captors nearly $8 billion to end the hostage crisis. Iran did not release the hostages until January 20, 1981: the day after Carter's successor, Ronald Reagan, became president.

Source: The Presidency of Jimmy Carter
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