Iranian Hostage Crisis

Iranian Hostage Crisis

1979 – 1981

A violent reaction to traditional US support for the repressive regime of the Shah of Iran, Mohammed Reza Pahlavi, 65 Americans were held for 444 days after Islamic revolutionaries stormed the US embassy. The newly installed leader of the Iran’s theocracy, Ayatollah Khomeini, was rabidly anti-American and had urged his followers to take action against Western influences. President Carter undertook two scrubbed rescue missions, one of which resulted in a humiliating accident for the US military and for the Carter Administration. Carter’s failure to secure the release of the hostages prior to the end of the 1980 campaign season is often credited with his sizable electoral defeat. Ultimately, Iraq’s invasion of Iran in 1980 made Iran more amenable to ending the crisis. Through the use of Algerian intermediaries, negotiations were finally successful. In a final slap to Carter, the hostages were formally relinquished to US custody on January 21, 1981, minutes after Reagan’s inauguration.

Time: Late War
Side: USSR
Ops: 3
Removed after event: Yes


Clearly this is a quality event if the US still controls Iran, a rarity in the Late War.  The Terrorism effect alone is not worth triggering the event, but is a good bonus on top of flipping Iran to you (which is at least a 2VP swing in final scoring, possibly more).

It’s important to keep in mind because if you are still attacking Middle East battlegrounds in the Late War (or late in the Mid War), it’s probably best to go for Egypt and Iraq as opposed to Libya (Reagan Bombs Libya), Saudi Arabia (AWACS Sales to Saudis), Israel (stability too high), or Iran (Iranian Hostage Crisis).

One of the advantages of controlling Iran is that the US will be more willing to play this event, thus allowing you to trigger a double Terrorism to really cripple a US Late War hand.


It’s almost certainly worth it to send this to space if you control Iran.  Even if it doesn’t affect Domination, it definitely is at least 2 VP for Final Scoring, and at least 4 VP if the Middle East gets scored one more time.

Sometimes even when the USSR controls Iran, you might be tempted to space this.  A double Terrorism discard is quite painful, and turning Iran from 0/2 to 0/4 essentially gives up any hope of ever taking the country back.  But it’s 3 Ops — so if Iran is already overcontrolled, or if you have no interest in it, then I will risk possible subsequent Terrorism.

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1 Response to Iranian Hostage Crisis

  1. Do not underestimate the power of this card with Terrorism. I won a game as USSR which I should have been losing on all fronts. I even got Chernobyld in Europe and he took over all battlegrounds on Turn 10. It was only because I got to play Terrorism on my headline and he got stuck with Lone Gunman, which he held till the very end of the game on AR7 hoping that I had to play Europe scoring prior to his last AR. Forced to play LG I won against all odds, never experienced a more surprising win. He told me he never got the change to discard it, so even if u think ur either golden or in the gutter. There is always a change to still win in this game.

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