Thirty years ago, Ambassador Kenneth D Taylor
got the six Americans hiding in the Canadian Embassy out of Iran
Americans were shocked that some of the Embassy personnel had escaped,
and extremely grateful to Canada.
For a period of time, the Maple Leaf was a common symbol in the US.
Faced with the daunting task of hiding the Americans, the boldness continued when they decided to smuggle them out of Iran on Canadian passports. Canada's Parliament convened it's first secret session since World War II to give permission to issue Canadian passports for the six Americans. The CIA prepared a set of forged Iranian Visas to go with the passports. Disguises and cover stories were invented for a series of scenarios. They eventually used the Hollywood advance crew who were scouting locations for a movie.
On January 27, 1980, the American diplomats, now travelling on Canadian passports, boarded a flight for Zurich, Switzerland, leaving from Tehran. The Canadian embassy staff also left and closed the Embassy.
The six rescued Americans were:
- Robert Anders, 34 - Consular Officer
- Mark J. Lijek, 29 - Consular Officer
- Cora A. Lijek, 25 - Consular Assistant
- Henry L. Schatz, 31 - Agriculture Attaché
- Joseph D. Stafford, 29 - Consular Officer
- Kathleen F. Stafford, 28 - Consular Assistant
A new book is out about the spying that Ken Taylor did for the CIA.
At this time, it is only available in Canada (darn - I'd like to read this)
To read about it, go here:
Previous Stories on the Iran Hostage Crisis:
The Iran Hostage Crisis
Iran Celebrates the Hostage Crisis
The Story of the Yellow Ribbon
Iranian Hostages Free
The Avenue of the Flags
Operation Eagle Claw ~ Remembering History
Thirty Years since the Takeover of the US Embassy