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Back in 1979, Ken Taylor was Canada's Ambassador to Iran, during the Iranian hostage crisis - and he was more involved than anyone ever knew. We'll get to that.
But first, a little history. For nearly forty years, the Shah ruled Iran, backed by the United States. But by the late Seventies, he became the target of major protests. In February of '79, the Ayatollah Khomeini led a revolution and overthrew the Shah. Anti-American sentiment was high. And in November of that year, a group of Iranian students took over the US embassy - holding fifty-four hostages.
A few months later, the US government came up with a plan to rescue the hostages...But it ended in disaster, when eight American soldiers were killed in a helicopter crash. In the end, it took four hundred and forty-four days to negotiate the hostages' release.
So, where does Taylor come in? Well, it's already well known that he kept six American diplomats in hiding, and helped them sneak out of Iran, with Canadian passports. But now, a new revelation:
Under a deal between US President Jimmy Carter and Prime Minister Joe Clark, Taylor helped the CIA, secretly providing intelligence that was passed on to the powers in Washington. In fact, much of Taylor's info was used to prepare for that failed US rescue attempt. The story is part of a new book, 'Our Man in Tehran.'