The Siege of the Iranian Embassy Essay

The Siege of the Iranian Embassy Essay

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The Siege of the Iranian Embassy

On April 30th 1980 a six man Iraqi terrorist group burst into the
Iranian embassy. The embassy in Princes Gate, London, contained 20
people, which included a police constable. The terrorist wanted the
release of 91 political prisoners from jail in Iran and a plane for
them to escape. If their demands were not met they would execute all
the hostages and blow up the Embassy. The Metropolitan Police invited
B Squadron, 22 SAS onto the scene. Within hours of the siege starting
they had set up observation posts and where monitoring the terrorists.
Major Jeremy Phipps who had been in the SAS for 15 years, and had
fought in Borneo and Oman now commanded B squadron. He started
developing plans to break into the embassy and free the hostages. A
high-ranking group of government ministers and officials decided that
it would be best to negotiate. For five days the SAS practiced their
plans for the siege as the negotiations dragged on.

On May 5th the terrorists' patience cracked and they shot dead a
hostage, Abbas Lavasani. Listening devices inserted by the SAS picked
up the terrorist plans, which included killing more hostages. The time
for talk was over. The order to attack came from the top, the Prime
Minister Margaret Thatcher, 'The Iron Lady'. The police handed
responsibility for the operation to the SAS at 19:07. Fourteen minutes
later the assault began, operation 'Nimrod' was now underway.

Four SAS men broke into the front of the Embassy after jumping over an
adjoining balcony. They blew out the armoured windows with a 'frame
charge' (A long strip of C4 explosives). An eight-strong rear team

... middle of paper ... hostages might have died. The
demands could have been met but this would leave the door open for
further terrorist demands. The SAS had to protect the innocent and
they did it. Even though some of the terrorists could have been
arrested there was no practical way of doing this without them still
being a risk to the hostages and SAS members. 39 bullets is a lot to
kill one man, but if fired from more than one soldier in the heat of
battle 39 isn't that many. Terrorists are dangerous; they have a
single aim and their target has to be met without regard to life or

Terrorists lose their right to a fair trial when they use innocent
people in an attempt to get their demands meet. I believe the actions
of the SAS and the fact that they are still active and operational
allows people like us to sleep soundly.

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