Jeff Smith noon, March 8
- Community Blog
The Algiers Accords
November 4, 2011 will mark the 32nd anniversary of the Iran hostage crisis. The Iran hostage crisis started when 52 Americans were taken hostage for 444 days, from November 4, 1979 to January 20, 1981, after a group of Islamist students and militants took over the American Embassy in Tehran to support the Iranian Revolution.
After failed attempts to negotiate a release, the United States military attempted a rescue operation, Operation Eagle Claw, on April 24, 1980, which resulted in a failed mission, the destruction of two aircraft and the deaths of eight American servicemen and one Iranian civilian.
The crisis ended with the negotiation and signing of the Algiers Accords in Algeria on January 19, 1981. The hostages were released into United States custody the following day, just minutes after president Ronald Reagan was sworn in.
The Algiers Accords were brokered by the Algerian government between the United States and Iran to resolve the Iran hostage crisis. During the crisis, the United States had frozen Iranian assets in the United States and placed trade sanctions on Iran. Also, numerous lawsuits were filed by parties on both sides. The Algiers Accords unfroze Iranian assets, lifted all US trade sanctions that existed on the signing date and moved all the litigation into a speedier arbitration. The US chief negotiator was Deputy Secretary of State Warren Christopher.
Because the Iranians were upset with US meddling in their internal affairs, the first provision in the Accords was a promise from the US that it would not intervene politically or militarily in Iranian internal affairs. Strangely, Warren Christopher did not negotiate a reciprocal agreement from the Iranians that they would not intervene politically or militarily in US internal affairs.
Not that it would stop them anyway, but in light of the news this week of the Iranian attempt to assassinate the Saudi ambassador to the US on US soil and make it look like the Mexican cartels did it, it might have been nice to have a written promise to not interfere from the Iranians so we could waive it in their faces.