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Thatcher Used Iran Embassy Rescue to Plead for U.S. Hostages

Margaret Thatcher tried to use the political capital gained from the successful ending of a siege of Iran’s embassy in London to persuade Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini to release U.S. hostages held in Tehran, secret British files from 1980 show.

The government documents, released by the National Archives after 30 years, show how Middle Eastern diplomats in London continued to debate whether to attempt to intervene in the six-day siege, unaware that Special Air Service soldiers were already storming the building, which had been seized by Iranian dissidents on April 30.