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In Pictures: Iran marks 1979 hostage crisis
The storming of the US embassy was a major event that followed Iran's Islamic revolution.
Last updated: 09 Feb 2014 11:46
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While Iran is set to celebrate the 35th anniversary of its Islamic revolution on Tuesday, the most internationally recognised episode of the uprising remains the American hostage crisis.

On November 4, 1979, a group of revolutionary students stormed the US embassy in downtown Tehran, taking 52 Americans hostage for 444 days. The crisis captivated the world and put the country on the US nightly news for the duration.

Al Jazeera's Soraya Lennie gained access to the former US embassy compound in the capital and sends us this photo essay.


/Soraya Lennie/Al Jazeera

Iran prepares for celebrations of the 35th anniversary of the revolution.



/Soraya Lennie/Al Jazeera

Graffiti adorns the walls of the former US embassy - this one is among the few iconic anti-US murals remaining around Tehran. The compound is one square kilometre, and although part of it is preserved as a museum, most it it remains off-limits to civilians. The compound, dubbed "the den of spies", is under the supervision of the Iranian government and the Revolutionary Guard.



/Soraya Lennie/Al Jazeera

A woman walks past the main entrance to the former US embassy. The slogan painted on the wall after the revolution translates to, "We put America under our foot".



/Soraya Lennie/Al Jazeera

The former US embassy in downtown Tehran. The second floor of its main building is now a museum, open to the public on the anniversary of its seizure. The rest of the year the embassy and its compound remain closed to the public. Al Jazeera English was granted rare access inside, on the eve of the 35th anniversary of the Iranian revolution.



/Soraya Lennie/Al Jazeera

The main staircase of the old embassy, which leads from the lobby to the second floor, was painted over with anti-US murals eight years ago.



/Soraya Lennie/Al Jazeera

The winding staircase leads to a heavy, reinforced metal door like that of a vault, which can only be opened with a combination. On the floor, a doormat reads "Down with the USA" in English and "Death to America" in Farsi.



/Soraya Lennie/Al Jazeera

On the second floor of the embassy, students found communication equipment they said proved that the Americans were spies: telephones, encryption machines, telex machines and other types of devices. Property of the NSA, the encryption machines were used to send messages from the embassy to Washington. The presence of machines like this supported the view held among the revolutionaries: that the CIA was operating out of the embassy and influencing Iranian politics. The embassy continued to operate for eight months after the revolution until students put an end to it with the hostage crisis.



/Soraya Lennie/Al Jazeera

Not much has changed inside the embassy's main building. Light green paint still adorns the walls, cracked and faded. Dust gathers on the windows and windowsills. The building stands as a relic.



/Soraya Lennie/Al Jazeera

Embassy staff could do little but watch as Iran's revolution took hold and swept millions into the streets. The 1979 uprising ended 2,500 years of monarchy and replaced it with an Islamic republic.



/Soraya Lennie/Al Jazeera

When students managed to get through at least two vault doors, they found the shredding room, where embassy staff had been using industrial-sized machines to destroy sensitive documents. The students painstakingly set about piecing the papers back together, discovering internal memos and other documents about the embassy's activities. Some of the reassembled documents have been published.



/Soraya Lennie/Al Jazeera

The inner room, inside the embassy's vaulted floor, was where the most sensitive work in the country took place. The room was built with reinforced steel and security systems. Inside the room, machines that were state-of-the-art in 1979 now look like something out of a retro spy comedy movie.



/Soraya Lennie/Al Jazeera

A rotor from a helicopter downed in the failed Operation Eagle Claw hostage rescue operation sits on a tall metal stand, hovering above the old embassy wall. It is a reminder of the US' failed rescue attempt after a sandstorm in the Iranian desert caused a fatal collision between one of the helicopters and an aircraft, killing eight American servicemen.



/Soraya Lennie/Al Jazeera

The walls of the old embassy, ringed with metal spikes, were effective in keeping staff safe as the revolution swept through Iran. Students had attempted to storm the embassy three days after the revolution but security forces and Iran's foreign ministry prevented it. Eight months later, the students were successful.



/Soraya Lennie/Al Jazeera

Graffiti on the walls of the embassy's second floor, written during the hostage crisis. One written in Farsi reads, "This den of spies should be closed".



/Soraya Lennie/Al Jazeera

Another bit of graffiti on the walls of the second floor reads, 
"There is no time for imperialism in Iran anymore". A line in Farsi says, "Hail Khomeini" - referring to Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, the leader of the Islamic revolution.




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images:
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captions:

Iran prepares for celebrations of the 35th anniversary of the revolution.

;*;

Graffiti adorns the walls of the former US embassy - this one is among the few iconic anti-US murals remaining around Tehran. The compound is one square kilometre, and although part of it is preserved as a museum, most it it remains off-limits to civilians. The compound, dubbed "the den of spies", is under the supervision of the Iranian government and the Revolutionary Guard.

;*;

A woman walks past the main entrance to the former US embassy. The slogan painted on the wall after the revolution translates to, "We put America under our foot".

;*;

The former US embassy in downtown Tehran. The second floor of its main building is now a museum, open to the public on the anniversary of its seizure. The rest of the year the embassy and its compound remain closed to the public. Al Jazeera English was granted rare access inside, on the eve of the 35th anniversary of the Iranian revolution.

;*;

The main staircase of the old embassy, which leads from the lobby to the second floor, was painted over with anti-US murals eight years ago.

;*;

The winding staircase leads to a heavy, reinforced metal door like that of a vault, which can only be opened with a combination. On the floor, a doormat reads "Down with the USA" in English and "Death to America" in Farsi.

;*;

On the second floor of the embassy, students found communication equipment they said proved that the Americans were spies: telephones, encryption machines, telex machines and other types of devices. Property of the NSA, the encryption machines were used to send messages from the embassy to Washington. The presence of machines like this supported the view held among the revolutionaries: that the CIA was operating out of the embassy and influencing Iranian politics. The embassy continued to operate for eight months after the revolution until students put an end to it with the hostage crisis.

;*;

Not much has changed inside the embassy(***)s main building. Light green paint still adorns the walls, cracked and faded. Dust gathers on the windows and windowsills. The building stands as a relic.

;*;

Embassy staff could do little but watch as Iran(***)s revolution took hold and swept millions into the streets. The 1979 uprising ended 2,500 years of monarchy and replaced it with an Islamic republic.

;*;

When students managed to get through at least two vault doors, they found the shredding room, where embassy staff had been using industrial-sized machines to destroy sensitive documents. The students painstakingly set about piecing the papers back together, discovering internal memos and other documents about the embassy(***)s activities. Some of the reassembled documents have been published.

;*;

The inner room, inside the embassy(***)s vaulted floor, was where the most sensitive work in the country took place. The room was built with reinforced steel and security systems. Inside the room, machines that were state-of-the-art in 1979 now look like something out of a retro spy comedy movie.

;*;

A rotor from a helicopter downed in the failed Operation Eagle Claw hostage rescue operation sits on a tall metal stand, hovering above the old embassy wall. It is a reminder of the US(***) failed rescue attempt after a sandstorm in the Iranian desert caused a fatal collision between one of the helicopters and an aircraft, killing eight American servicemen.

;*;

The walls of the old embassy, ringed with metal spikes, were effective in keeping staff safe as the revolution swept through Iran. Students had attempted to storm the embassy three days after the revolution but security forces and Iran(***)s foreign ministry prevented it. Eight months later, the students were successful.

;*;

Graffiti on the walls of the embassy(***)s second floor, written during the hostage crisis. One written in Farsi reads, "This den of spies should be closed".

;*;

Another bit of graffiti on the walls of the second floor reads, 
"There is no time for imperialism in Iran anymore". A line in Farsi says, "Hail Khomeini" - referring to Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, the leader of the Islamic revolution.

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Photographer:
;*;;*;;*;;*;;*;;*;;*;;*;;*;;*;;*;;*;;*;;*;
Image Source:
Soraya Lennie/Al Jazeera;*;Soraya Lennie/Al Jazeera;*;Soraya Lennie/Al Jazeera;*;Soraya Lennie/Al Jazeera;*;Soraya Lennie/Al Jazeera;*;Soraya Lennie/Al Jazeera;*;Soraya Lennie/Al Jazeera;*;Soraya Lennie/Al Jazeera;*;Soraya Lennie/Al Jazeera;*;Soraya Lennie/Al Jazeera;*;Soraya Lennie/Al Jazeera;*;Soraya Lennie/Al Jazeera;*;Soraya Lennie/Al Jazeera;*;Soraya Lennie/Al Jazeera;*;Soraya Lennie/Al Jazeera
Gallery Source:
Daylife
Daylife Raw Data:
Iran revhttp://aljazeera.galleries.newscred.com/gallery/Iran_reven-ussupport@newscred.comUntitled Site10Thu, 06 Feb 2014 12:08:51 GMT http://aljazeera.galleries.newscred.com/gallery/Iran_rev/slideshow/no-caption/36b0542d83c55cb21475327b33d86932

Iran prepares for celebrations of the 35th anniversary of the Revolution.

http://aljazeera.galleries.newscred.com/gallery/Iran_rev/slideshow/no-caption/36b0542d83c55cb21475327b33d86932Soraya Lennie/Al Jazeera

Iran prepares for celebrations of the 35th anniversary of the Revolution.

http://aljazeera.galleries.newscred.com/gallery/Iran_rev/slideshow/no-caption/31b0c16d5d9f51a9eb3d993b3042a12b

Anti US murals now adorn the walls of the former US embassy. The compound, in downtown Tehran, is a kilometre square. Part of it is now preserved as a museum, although largely off limits to civilians. The compound is now under the supervision of the Iranian government and the Revolutionary Guard. The 'den of spies' as its known in Iran, stands still, as it did 35 years ago, while life in Tehran, a bustling city of millions, continues to go on.

http://aljazeera.galleries.newscred.com/gallery/Iran_rev/slideshow/no-caption/31b0c16d5d9f51a9eb3d993b3042a12bSoraya Lennie/Al Jazeera

Anti US murals now adorn the walls of the former US embassy. The compound, in downtown Tehran, is a kilometre square. Part of it is now preserved as a museum, although largely off limits to civilians. The compound is now under the supervision of the Iranian government and the Revolutionary Guard. The 'den of spies' as its known in Iran, stands still, as it did 35 years ago, while life in Tehran, a bustling city of millions, continues to go on.

http://aljazeera.galleries.newscred.com/gallery/Iran_rev/slideshow/no-caption/629cdd78e4532951a88fcb6820bf4159

A woman walks on a grey day past the main entrance to the former US embassy. The slogan painted on the wall after the revolution, translates to, 'We put America under our foot.'

http://aljazeera.galleries.newscred.com/gallery/Iran_rev/slideshow/no-caption/629cdd78e4532951a88fcb6820bf4159Soraya Lennie/Al Jazeera

A woman walks on a grey day past the main entrance to the former US embassy. The slogan painted on the wall after the revolution, translates to, 'We put America under our foot.'

http://aljazeera.galleries.newscred.com/gallery/Iran_rev/slideshow/no-caption/86243f1ec3a168dcc4b6c0208ae1ef27

The old US embassy in Tehran. The second floor of its main building is now a museum, open to the public on the anniversary of its seizure. The rest of the year the embassy and its compound is closed to civilians. Al Jazeera English was granted rare access inside, on the eve of the 35th anniversary of the Iranian revolution.

http://aljazeera.galleries.newscred.com/gallery/Iran_rev/slideshow/no-caption/86243f1ec3a168dcc4b6c0208ae1ef27Soraya Lennie/Al Jazeera

The old US embassy in Tehran. The second floor of its main building is now a museum, open to the public on the anniversary of its seizure. The rest of the year the embassy and its compound is closed to civilians. Al Jazeera English was granted rare access inside, on the eve of the 35th anniversary of the Iranian revolution.

http://aljazeera.galleries.newscred.com/gallery/Iran_rev/slideshow/no-caption/ab1dce828daae0fa52ed5a5fe8e1cbb7

Eight years ago, the main staircase of the old embassy, which leads from the lobby to the second floor, was painted over with anti US murals.

http://aljazeera.galleries.newscred.com/gallery/Iran_rev/slideshow/no-caption/ab1dce828daae0fa52ed5a5fe8e1cbb7Soraya Lennie/Al Jazeera

Eight years ago, the main staircase of the old embassy, which leads from the lobby to the second floor, was painted over with anti US murals.

http://aljazeera.galleries.newscred.com/gallery/Iran_rev/slideshow/no-caption/5136a9b63518958676668d7ef537f70a

The winding staircase leads to a heavy, metal, reinforced door like that of a vault, which can only be opened with a combination. On the floor a doormat , which in English reads 'Down with the USA' and in farsi 'death to america'. When students stormed the embassy, what they found behind that door would stun many and prove many others right about what really was going on in the Embassy.

http://aljazeera.galleries.newscred.com/gallery/Iran_rev/slideshow/no-caption/5136a9b63518958676668d7ef537f70aSoraya Lennie/Al Jazeera

The winding staircase leads to a heavy, metal, reinforced door like that of a vault, which can only be opened with a combination. On the floor a doormat , which in English reads 'Down with the USA' and in farsi 'death to america'. When students stormed the embassy, what they found behind that door would stun many and prove many others right about what really was going on in the Embassy.

http://aljazeera.galleries.newscred.com/gallery/Iran_rev/slideshow/no-caption/ca877b335d2f018b61a341455235f13e

On the second floor of the embassy, students found a whole floor of communication equiptment, telephones, encryption machines, telex machines and other types of devices. Traces of the employees' attempts to destroy the contents of memos and equipment remain.Encryption machines like this one, property of the NSA, were used to send messages from the embassy, back to Washington. It was machines like this that proved the students, and wider Iranian belief, that the CIA was operating out of the embassy and orchestrating and influencing internal political events in Iran. The embassy continued to operate for eight months after the revolution until students put an end to it with the Hostage crisis.

http://aljazeera.galleries.newscred.com/gallery/Iran_rev/slideshow/no-caption/ca877b335d2f018b61a341455235f13eSoraya Lennie/Al Jazeera

On the second floor of the embassy, students found a whole floor of communication equiptment, telephones, encryption machines, telex machines and other types of devices. Traces of the employees' attempts to destroy the contents of memos and equipment remain.Encryption machines like this one, property of the NSA, were used to send messages from the embassy, back to Washington. It was machines like this that proved the students, and wider Iranian belief, that the CIA was operating out of the embassy and orchestrating and influencing internal political events in Iran. The embassy continued to operate for eight months after the revolution until students put an end to it with the Hostage crisis.

http://aljazeera.galleries.newscred.com/gallery/Iran_rev/slideshow/no-caption/37b010b5c0bad59ddb1bd55e69150443

Not much has changed inside the embassy's main building , light green paint still adorns the walls, cracked and faded. Dust gathers on the windows and window sills, like a relic of the past.

http://aljazeera.galleries.newscred.com/gallery/Iran_rev/slideshow/no-caption/37b010b5c0bad59ddb1bd55e69150443Soraya Lennie/Al Jazeera

Not much has changed inside the embassy's main building , light green paint still adorns the walls, cracked and faded. Dust gathers on the windows and window sills, like a relic of the past.

http://aljazeera.galleries.newscred.com/gallery/Iran_rev/slideshow/no-caption/0e9c046c043f02d6ece90a6e07b55646

Embassy staff could do little but watch as Iran's revolution took hold and swept millions into the streets. The revolution in 1979 ended 2500 years of monarchy and replaced it with the Islamic Republic.

http://aljazeera.galleries.newscred.com/gallery/Iran_rev/slideshow/no-caption/0e9c046c043f02d6ece90a6e07b55646Soraya Lennie/Al Jazeera

Embassy staff could do little but watch as Iran's revolution took hold and swept millions into the streets. The revolution in 1979 ended 2500 years of monarchy and replaced it with the Islamic Republic.

http://aljazeera.galleries.newscred.com/gallery/Iran_rev/slideshow/no-caption/ff6a08dfcf3ed937fe9482554ab39c7c

When students managed to get through at least two vaulted doors they found the shredding room with industrial sized machines embassy staff had been using to pulp sensitive documents. The students painstakingly set about piecing the papers back together discovering internal memos and other documents about the embassy's activities. Some of the reassembled documents have been published.

http://aljazeera.galleries.newscred.com/gallery/Iran_rev/slideshow/no-caption/ff6a08dfcf3ed937fe9482554ab39c7cSoraya Lennie/Al Jazeera

When students managed to get through at least two vaulted doors they found the shredding room with industrial sized machines embassy staff had been using to pulp sensitive documents. The students painstakingly set about piecing the papers back together discovering internal memos and other documents about the embassy's activities. Some of the reassembled documents have been published.

http://aljazeera.galleries.newscred.com/gallery/Iran_rev/slideshow/no-caption/d085f8bac68868e9c2b6f42176717c2d

The inner room, Inside the embassy's vaulted floor, the place the CIA's most sensitive work in the country was done, sits another room which was built inside the main room. It is built with reinforced steel, security systems and a vaulted door. Inside the room machines that were in 1979, necessary to the diplomatic mission and by today's standards, look like something out of Get Smart.

http://aljazeera.galleries.newscred.com/gallery/Iran_rev/slideshow/no-caption/d085f8bac68868e9c2b6f42176717c2dSoraya Lennie/Al Jazeera

The inner room, Inside the embassy's vaulted floor, the place the CIA's most sensitive work in the country was done, sits another room which was built inside the main room. It is built with reinforced steel, security systems and a vaulted door. Inside the room machines that were in 1979, necessary to the diplomatic mission and by today's standards, look like something out of Get Smart.

http://aljazeera.galleries.newscred.com/gallery/Iran_rev/slideshow/no-caption/660cc40c2365d32a9a04678a9891d7b7

The rotor from one of the helicopters, downed in the failed Operation Eagle Claw hostage rescue operation. It sits on a tall metal stand, hovering above the old embassy wall, so passersby in the street can see it. A reminder of the failure of the rescue attempt. A freak sandstorm in the Iranian desert engulfed the rescue helicopters and lead to a disastrous crash, killing eight servicemen.

http://aljazeera.galleries.newscred.com/gallery/Iran_rev/slideshow/no-caption/660cc40c2365d32a9a04678a9891d7b7Soraya Lennie/Al Jazeera

The rotor from one of the helicopters, downed in the failed Operation Eagle Claw hostage rescue operation. It sits on a tall metal stand, hovering above the old embassy wall, so passersby in the street can see it. A reminder of the failure of the rescue attempt. A freak sandstorm in the Iranian desert engulfed the rescue helicopters and lead to a disastrous crash, killing eight servicemen.

http://aljazeera.galleries.newscred.com/gallery/Iran_rev/slideshow/no-caption/d6a464ce67b1898b8444cb5bfa8ce756

The walls of the old embassy, ringed with metal spikes, were effective in keeping staff safe as the revolution swept through Iran. Students had attempted to storm the embassy three days after the revolution but security forces and Iran's foreign ministry prevented it. Eight months later, the students were successful.

http://aljazeera.galleries.newscred.com/gallery/Iran_rev/slideshow/no-caption/d6a464ce67b1898b8444cb5bfa8ce756Soraya Lennie/Al Jazeera

The walls of the old embassy, ringed with metal spikes, were effective in keeping staff safe as the revolution swept through Iran. Students had attempted to storm the embassy three days after the revolution but security forces and Iran's foreign ministry prevented it. Eight months later, the students were successful.

http://aljazeera.galleries.newscred.com/gallery/Iran_rev/slideshow/no-caption/15b60217d4bafbe6ddc34e9c29abf4fa

Graffiti on the walls of the embassy's second floor, written during the hostage crisis. One written in farsi reads, 'this den of spies should be closed.'

http://aljazeera.galleries.newscred.com/gallery/Iran_rev/slideshow/no-caption/15b60217d4bafbe6ddc34e9c29abf4faSoraya Lennie/Al Jazeera

Graffiti on the walls of the embassy's second floor, written during the hostage crisis. One written in farsi reads, 'this den of spies should be closed.'

http://aljazeera.galleries.newscred.com/gallery/Iran_rev/slideshow/no-caption/7fc822872d6063035c0854c9001b7a49

Another graffiti on the walls of the second floor reads 'There is no time for imperialism in Iran anymore.'

http://aljazeera.galleries.newscred.com/gallery/Iran_rev/slideshow/no-caption/7fc822872d6063035c0854c9001b7a49Soraya Lennie/Al Jazeera

Another graffiti on the walls of the second floor reads 'There is no time for imperialism in Iran anymore.'



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