On 4 November 1979, what happened between the United States and the Islamic Republic of Iran did not allow the two countries to improve once again, and further increased the risky atmosphere of the Middle East, leading to the start of serious crises for the future. This event, called the Hostage Crisis, made Iran, which was once the ally of the United States in the Middle East, now an official enemy. However, the politics between Iran and the USA has always been at a critical level until today.
As a result of the rebellion launched against the Pahlavi regime in the city of Kum in Iran in 1978, two thousand people lost their lives and as a result of these events, the Iranian Islamic Revolution was carried out under the leadership of the Pahlavi opponents, who united under the name of the Muslim Traditionalist Movement around Ayatollah Khomeini. The country was introduced to a new system in 1979, and Ayatollah Khomeini, who adopted an understanding of a republic in accordance with Islamic Law and the Shia sect, took over instead of Shah Pahlavi. After the revolution, the Shah first went to Egypt but could not withstand the pressure of the supporters of the revolution who wanted to seriously judge the Shah, and since the Egyptian President Anwar Sadat could not risk the deterioration of Egypt-Iran relations, the Shah had to go to Mexico.
While the process continued in this way, anti-US and anti-Western propagandas entered universities in Iran. Especially with Khomeini’s seizure of power, the tensions between the West and Iran have now come to the point of breaking. On the US side, there was talk of taking Shah Pahlavi from Mexico and bringing him to the country for treatment. While the anti-Western opposition in Iran had risen to a violent and dangerous level in social and daily life, the actions of an armed anti-Shah group in front of the US embassy on February 14, 1979 got out of control and the embassy was occupied. During this incident, 70 people, including the ambassador, were taken hostage and the diplomats lost their lives. After this first pressure, the Iranian government took measures in a short time, the occupation was ended and a diplomatic crisis began between the two countries, but the effects of the crisis in the society continued. In other words, this incident was not supported by the Iranian government and took place outside of its influence. As a result of this pressure, the Shah’s transfer process from Mexico to the United States was interrupted, but the Shah could only step into the US territory after a while after the incident. Since this date, protests against the USA have continued to increase in various cities of Iran, and even the protests held in front of the embassy with a large participation only 3 days before the incident on November 4 ended without any violence.
The crisis, which continued to escalate with all these developments, broke out on November 4, 1979 and the armed crowd gathered in front of the embassy, managed to enter the embassy, diplomatic and mission buildings and took all the personnel in the embassy hostage. During the same period, other embassy and diplomatic mission personnel in different cities of Iran were taken hostage and the number of all hostages reached 73. The students who carried out the occupation called themselves Muslim Students who are in favor of the Imam’s Policy. After the invasion, relations between the US and Iran were completely severed by the will of both sides. As the first reaction, the US demanded Iran to end the occupation, release the hostages and safely evacuate them. In addition, the United States of America has frozen 8 billion dollars in circulation of Iran and ended oil exports as of 12 November.
Trial Process in the International Court of Justice
While the developments between the two countries continued in this way with a hard diploma, the United States carried the situation to the United Nations on November 9 and to the International Court of Justice with a unilateral petition on November 29. On the other hand, the USA was preparing to start the embargo implementations that will continue until today, which will sometimes be the subject of discussion due to the presence of human rights violations in the international arena and will reach a peak with nuclear armament in the near future.
The crisis and occupation situation, which was urgently dealt with by the United Nations Security Council due to its magnitude that could cause serious crises in the international arena, was reported on the grounds that the two countries made an effort for reconciliation and the crisis would come to an end as soon as possible. This neutral stance of the UN, which has been displayed since the beginning of the event, has preserved its existence until the talks between the two countries in the past years, in the presence of permanent members of the United Nations Security Council.
Despite the rapid and extensive work of the United States to seek international justice, the Islamic State of Iran did not take any action and also rejected the calls from the United Nations Security Council and the International Court of Justice. Iran’s stay away from the reconciliation stages and the demands of the Court of Justice seriously affected the course of the decision to be taken by the United Nations Security Council.
The US dispute demanded a passage measure on the date it brought before the International Court of Justice and made serious requests such as the release of the hostages and the safe removal of the hostages, the occupation of the embassy, and the guarantee of the lives of the hostages. his response did not exactly match US demands.
The US dispute demanded an interim measure on the date it brought before the International Court of Justice. In this request, there were serious demands such as the release of the hostages and their safe removal from the country, the termination of the occupation in the embassy, and the guarantee of the lives of the hostages. As a matter of fact, the International Court of Justice has also opened the way for the immediate extradition of diplomats to the United States by stating that there will be no more important precondition than the immunity of diplomatic representatives.
The International Court of Justice made its decision on the merits on 24 May 1980. The Court has ruled that the Islamic State of Iran violated its obligations to the United States in the international arena and that the resulting damage should be corrected. In addition, the Court asked the hostages to be released immediately, to have them leave the country, to end the occupation of the embassy buildings and to hand over the buildings to a neutral state, and finally stated that the USA had the right to compensation in order to compensate for the losses as a result of the events that occurred.
As a result, this crisis, which we can regard as the starting point of the Islamic State of Iran against the USA and all the problems between the two countries, lasted for 444 days and completely eliminated the relations between the two countries. It should not be forgotten that the decision of the Court was implemented between the parties in the coming years, although the fact that Iran has not actively participated in the litigation process has led to various discussions in terms of the nature of the disputes that need to be resolved internationally and the form of the solution.
Although the relations between the two countries seemed to be reactivated with various diplomatic breakthroughs especially during the presidency of Barrack Obama, both Iran’s exact attitude towards nuclear armament and the attitude of Obama’s successor to Iran from the day he was elected were similar to the old. has entered a deadlock again for reasons. Although the serious sanctions that the USA imposed on Iran after the hostage crisis were weakened by the actions taken during the Obama era, the process that broke off during the Trump period was also an inevitable result of the embargo being reinstated. For this reason, it is possible to state that, with all the events that took place after the hostage crisis between the two countries, there was a breaking point in both the Middle East politics and Iran-USA relations.