Talk:Iranian Embassy siege

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Perhaps this should be expanded and moved to "Iranian Embassy Seige". Operation Nimrod as I undestand it is only the military operation carried out by the SAS. There is a considerable amount of additional information which would be pertinant to an encyclopaedic article, and a great deal of wha is already included is outwith the operation itself. Rich_Farmbrough 21:42, 29 June 2004 (UTC)

I agree. Dunc_Harris| 17:01, 4 Jul 2004 (UTC)
And i just moved it. I think its a lot better now. Dunc_Harris| 21:42, 10 Sep 2004 (UTC)

Unsubstantiated claims about Iraqi involvement[edit]

I think "sponsored by Saddam Hussein's Iraq," is less NPOV than "sponsored by Iraq,". What do you think? Should we change it back? Edward 15:47, 28 Nov 2004 (UTC)

I think just 'Iraq' would be more NPOV. Possibly 'sponsored by the Iraqi Government'? (All truth be known, I'm not personally clear on the evidence of the connection).
Why? Not everyone knows the history of Iraq and it is important to differentiate the Ba'athist Iraq from the current Iraq from whatever was before the Ba'athist regime. 21:16, 2 March 2006 (UTC)

Can anyone provide any evidence to support the "sponsored by Saddam Hussein's Iraq" claims?? 13:06, 29 January 2007 (UTC)

There is still no evidence provided about Iraq's involvement, so I've flagged the sentence about the group's "Iraqi handler". Thomas Blomberg (talk) 09:31, 6 August 2010 (UTC)


Who is this man? He's not identified by full name anywhere in the article, nor is it indicated that this is a code name. All it alludes to is the fact that he was there, probably as a hostage. Wally 22:12, 9 January 2006 (UTC)

I've added that he was a hostage in the last para, I know its already in the article elsewhere but I think it needs to be stated near the end also Murray.booth 08:50, 1 November 2006 (UTC)

Parole for Fowzi Nejad[edit]

The article stated that Fowzi Nejad was to be eligible for parole in 2005. A quick Google search uncovered only articles looking towards 2005 considering his possible release. Does anyone know if Nejad's parole hearing took place in 2005 and if it did, what happened? --AStanhope 17:01, 3 March 2006 (UTC)

Sorry to just re-iterate the point of Astanhope, but does anyone have any further information on Nejad's parole? It has been some time since any mention of it and there are no stories that I can find which state whether he is still in prison. -- (talk) 13:13, 21 April 2008 (UTC)

According to this, Nejad is due to be released. This also states he may be given asylum.--Conjoiner (talk) 12:38, 3 May 2008 (UTC)


I just searched the BBC's website for information about the Iranian Embassy Siege and found out that most of the text has been taken from the BBC's. It's nearly completly the same. The might by copyright trobles, but I do not know. Who knows some about this? Here's the link: --M9IN0G 09:53, 1 June 2006 (UTC)

Bugger. It turns out that's been there for more than two years! I've had to take it out, but if anyone has the time to paraphrase the info and put it back in, that would be tremendous. Sadly, I don't. HenryFlower 20:27, 6 June 2006 (UTC)


Shouldn't this page be at Iranian Embassy siege? There is no reason for the capitalisation. —anskas 00:12, 28 October 2006 (UTC)


a photo or two of the SAS' assault would be nice

a good one would be of the front of the building when the SAS operators used a frame charge on the embassy's windows

I agree, why are there no pictures, it was a well known event. Lordqaz (talk) 04:58, 14 August 2010 (UTC)

Adding date, place to title[edit]

Anyone object to changing the title to "1980 Iranian embassy siege in London", or something similar? This would keep the title parallel with the other titles for embassy attacks used on Wiki: List_of_attacks_on_diplomatic_missions MatthewVanitas (talk) 04:17, 3 June 2008 (UTC)

No, I don't object to a title change. The current title is rather ethnocentric - there are many Iranian embassies - it needs to be in keeping with other such events and the title needs to make clear which Iranian embassy. Sterry2607 (talk) 01:49, 6 July 2008 (UTC)

I don't see the need for a change. How many Iranian embassies have been besieged?

Lapsed Pacifist (talk) 15:31, 4 August 2008 (UTC)

Words to avoid?[edit]

The further one reads in the article, the more common the word "terrorist" becomes. Is this deliberate?

Lapsed Pacifist (talk) 04:40, 3 January 2009 (UTC)

Unless anyone has a rational objection, I'll replace this wording.

Lapsed Pacifist (talk) 17:00, 11 January 2009 (UTC)

Yes, the overuse of the word made me laugh. Terrorist is a loaded term and clearly someone wants to make sure we all see these people that way, in this and some other Wikipedia pages I've just be reading. People with agendas need to be a bit more subtle. This usage sticks out like a sore thumb. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 09:27, 9 August 2009 (UTC)

Please tell me how someone who takes and murders hostages for political reasons is not a terrorist? BodvarBjarki (talk) 15:10, 26 April 2010 (UTC)

Could you go into detail about how using the word "terrorist" indicates an agenda? Like BodvarBjarki writes, I think it can generally be agreed that hostage takers pushing a political view are terrorists. No agenda, just an accurate description. (talk) 05:26, 28 December 2010 (UTC)

Contradiction in article[edit]

The article states that 26 hostages were taken, but 5 were subsequently released. It states that 19 hostages were saved in the assualt. Yet, it also states that 7 hostages were killed. Is this the new math? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 18:42, 15 September 2009 (UTC)

The section Embassy capture says there was an ITN unit at the rear able to watch the retaking of the embassy; then the section SAS Assault mentions "One team to the rear, entry via the first floor, entry from No.14's balcony - as seen by BBC cameras". Is this referring to the same camera crew and confusing the news organisations (ITN produced news for the ITV network; the BBC produced news for their own networks).

Also, phrases like "first floor" which have different meanings in the UK and US should be clarified. --Maltelauridsbrigge (talk) 12:46, 12 February 2009 (UTC)

The Reunion[edit]

BBC Radio 4 broadcast a programme this week which was basically an interview with some of those involved, including one of the the SAS soldiers, the negotiator and some of the hostages. It would be useful for references and will be avaible here on the "listen again" service for the next day or so. I believe you can record the BBC's "listen again" output using the Audacity software although I've never tried it myself. Richerman (talk) 12:19, 11 September 2009 (UTC)

Sense of Failure[edit]

Here's the link to the full article on the BBC

It would be nice if this article could be expanded to include a reference to the role that the first translator that was used to communicate with the terrorists in the embassy had in the outcome of the negotiations. Anyone has more informations on who this translator was and why she wanted to derail the negotiation talks? (Riciwtf (talk) 10:17, 5 May 2010 (UTC))


In the article, it is stated that Tak Takavesi was the name of the trooper caught in the abseil ropes. However, in both Rusty Firman's book (Go! Go! Go!) and Soldier I, they state that Takavesi was a member of one of the assault crews to go in through the ground floor. In both books, the name of the trooper caught in the ropes is given as "Tom the Fijian". Takavesi was also Fijian, which might explain some of the confusion. (Craig, 6/2/11)

I agree with this point as I have never seen Taks name mentioned in relation to the fellow caught in the ropes.Prehaps Taks names should be removed and possibly changed to "Tom the Fijian" and referenced to the statement in Soldier I. --MisterCharlieLord (talk) 18:59, 23 May 2011 (UTC)

In ths Wikipedia article for this it says:Iranian Embassy Siege. "Frank Collins claims this hostage was mistaken for the terrorist 'Salim' (codename for the leader) and believed to be carrying grenades> was it true that to colins that one name Ali Akbar Samadzadeh was killed by friendly fire from SAS? Collinswas an NCO. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Paulioetc (talkcontribs) 10:14, 5 March 2011 (UTC)


I'm not sure which section to best add further details, but the article doesn't mention at all who exactly were involved from the SAS except mentioned "red/blue" teams of the CRW, which is rather vague. It was B Squadron's Pagoda Troop, the Special Projects alert team from the CRW, which then broke itself down into "red/blue". --YEPPOON (talk) 02:19, 2 August 2011 (UTC)

New image[edit]

The new image of the S&W revolver is misplaced in this article. The revolver was not used, and played no part in the outcome. On the contrary, the H&K MP5 became extremely popular with law enforcement after this event - the vendor could not have asked for better endorsement than that of the SAS. Socrates2008 (Talk) 12:20, 11 August 2011 (UTC)

That another image is more relevant is not a reason to remove that one. An image is beneficial there because it breaks up the text a little and makes the article more aesthetically pleasing. If I can find a suitable image of an MP5 and a place to put it, I'll certainly include it. HJ Mitchell | Penny for your thoughts? 17:27, 11 August 2011 (UTC)
I'm not seeing how this image "increases users' understanding of the subject matter". Also its prominence gives undue weighting to the role that the revolver played in the siege. If you're simply looking for gap fillers, then we can do better than this. Socrates2008 (Talk) 22:25, 11 August 2011 (UTC)
I think Socrates2008 makes a valid point. (talk) 12:46, 29 August 2011 (UTC)
I agree with Socrates2008, it adds nothing. Mztourist (talk) 14:08, 30 November 2011 (UTC)

Injuries sustianed by the SAS[edit]

An article in the popular press (Robin Horsfall,The Sun (UK), Page 14, 29/08/11) obituary to sgt McAleese (1949-11) it is stated “one of our guys got burns to his legs and another shot the end of his finger off, otherwise it was a complete success”. Although I could find mention of the burn injury I could not find any mention of the phalanx amputation accident in the text of this article. I think this could be mentioned as a point of interest. (talk) 12:42, 29 August 2011 (UTC)

If I remember correctly (it got a passing mention in one of the books I used to research the article), the impromptu amputation was the result of an accident by one of the soldiers on the reserve team guarding the outside of the embassy. I didn't think it was worth including since it wasn't the result of enemy action or anything much to do with the operation, but I don't feel strongly about it, so I'm happy to talk about it if others think it's worth mentioning. HJ Mitchell | Penny for your thoughts? 17:28, 29 August 2011 (UTC)
Thank you for the explanation. I think it should not be included. (talk) 14:23, 5 September 2011 (UTC)

The change[edit]

This edit [1] has been reverted with explanation of :"some of the wording is too close to the source, it introduces poor grammar in places, and the scare quotes and some of the wording in this edit introduce potential problems with neutrality". I think the poor grammar can be corrected by assistance of native English speakers , the closeness to the source is an advantage that can help the present problem of neutrality and the potential problems with neutrality can be discussed . I think the present version is neither neutral nor reliable . As an example , the sentence "Several thousand protesters gathered in the town of Khorramshahr on 29 May 1979; rioting broke out and Iranian Revolutionary Guards opened fire, allegedly killing more than 200 people" is not neutral and does not have reliable source(s). The section Motives does not have any refers to Saddam intervention , but the original book has , so the present version is selectively omitting a sentence is giving wight to other sentences --Alborz Fallah (talk) 19:02, 2 April 2012 (UTC)

And again , I think this sentence :"It became part of Iran (then known as Persia) after an exchange of land between Persia and the Ottoman Empire in 1847. " is not neutral ; as Iranian - Ottoman treaty of 1847 was not about whole area of Khuzestan , and it was only about a part of that place that was exchanging between Persia and Ottoman empire , more than that , that lands have been a part of Iran prior to that time , but the boundary between two empires were not clear . The treaty stipulated that Iran would cede the region west of Zohāb to the Ottomans in exchange for guaranteed sovereignty over islands and territory near the Persian Gulf. Particularly significant were two provisions in article 2: first, “the Persian Government abandons all claim to the city and province of Suleimani [Solaymānīya], and formally undertakes not to interfere with or infringe the sovereign rights of the Ottoman Government over the said province” and, second, “the Ottoman Government formally recognizes the unrestricted sovereignty of the Persian Government over the city and port of Muhammara, the island of Khizr [Ḵeżr], the [Ābādān] anchorage, and the land on the eastern bank—that is to say, the left bank—of the Shatt Al-Arab, which are in the possession of the tribes, recognized as belonging to Persia” Encyclopædia Iranica .--Alborz Fallah (talk) 14:11, 6 April 2012 (UTC)
First thing's first, it's important to remember that the background section of this article is not supposed to be a complete history of this part of the Middle East—it's just background information that helps the reader understand the topic of the Iranian Embassy siege, and readers who want to know more about the history of Khuzestan or Persia/Iran can click through to the articles on those topics. On the comments you make, closeness of wording to the source is not a good thing (see WP:Close paraphrasing); if your English isn't good enough that you can add text without disrupting the flow of the existing text, propose things here and we can work on the grammar first; and yes, potential problems with neutrality can be discussed—before they're introduced to a featured article.

Now, I don't profess to be an expert on Middle-Eastern history, so if you think there is something grossly inaccurate in the article, or something essential missing from it, I am happy to hear your suggestions because you are probably better-informed on this part of the background than I am. HJ Mitchell | Penny for your thoughts? 18:16, 17 May 2012 (UTC)

The whole background section is supposed to discuss the reasons of the terrorist group.The present version points to Treaty of Erzurum , with the sentence : "It became part of Iran (then known as Persia) after an exchange of land between Persia and the Ottoman Empire in 1847." . Indeed that sentence is not true and is somehow giving weight to the separatist group POV . As you are native language English speaker , please change the text according to the source in a way that does not disrupt the flow of the existing text. --Alborz Fallah (talk) 18:46, 17 May 2012 (UTC)
OK, so that sentence is inaccurate. What would you replace it with, and can you provide a source to support it? HJ Mitchell | Penny for your thoughts? 18:59, 17 May 2012 (UTC)
The source is Encyclopædia Iranica . In Khuzestan - that is a very large place - the disputed region between Iran and Ottoman was a rather small place , plus after the treaty the region became undisputed : that was not a simple land exchange. Why don't we delete the whole sentence?--Alborz Fallah (talk) 19:37, 17 May 2012 (UTC)
Do you have any other sources? Secondary sources (like published books by respected authors, for example) are preferable to tertiary sources (like encyclopaedia). I'll have a look at the sentence and see if the article can do without it, but I'm sway from home at the minute so it might take me a few days. HJ Mitchell | Penny for your thoughts? 10:45, 18 May 2012 (UTC)
Thank you . I know two books in Persian language but for English language sources , I think the bibliography section of the Iranica article is useful .
About the other change (second paragraph) , that is about the terrorist's connection with Saddam's regime , the source is Fremont-Barnes, p.17 .I think mentioning it is a necessary , because if we consider intrinsic conflicts between an ethnic group and central government as the reason of the terrorist action , that is giving them a more acceptable reason rather than having a foreign connection . If the problem is WP:Close paraphrasing , can you help me to use it , without damaging the article ?--Alborz Fallah (talk) 14:22, 18 May 2012 (UTC)

The change . Number 2[edit]

This change seems to need discussion : [2].Let's talk !--Alborz Fallah (talk) 18:01, 17 May 2012 (UTC)

I was typing a response to you while you wrote that. HJ Mitchell | Penny for your thoughts? 18:17, 17 May 2012 (UTC)

Accuracy issues[edit]

There were some bizarre and completely false claims, which if they were present when the article was given featured status, is quite unusual. For example, the province had never at any time been under Ottoman rule and not a single credible historian has ever claimed that the Qajars or Reza Shah annexed the province from the Ottoman Empire. Furthermore, almost all sources (such as the BBC articles) clearly state that the militants were part of the Iranian Arab minority and sought the establishment of an autonomous Arab state in the southern portion of the province, where the majority of Arabic-speakers are situated, rather than advocating for autonomy for the entire province or region. Laval (talk) 15:58, 20 September 2013 (UTC)

Content of citations[edit]

I removed the 'publisher' parameter from citations of newspapers and broadcasters in line with the recommendations at Wikipedia:CITE#What_information_to_include and Wikipedia:Cite news#Publisher - "Not normally used for periodicals. Omit where the publisher's name is substantially the same as the name of the work (for example, The New York Times Co. publishes The New York Times newspaper, so there is no reason to name the publisher)." The purpose of a citation is to allow a reader to find the source of a claim the article is making. It's no help - and certainly no surprise - to any reader to be told that the publisher of BBC News is the BBC, or that The Guardian is published by Guardian News and Media. For books, it can be valuable to include the publisher, to help in locating a book, but it's only rarely useful to wikilink it - see Wikipedia:Cite_book#Publisher - "Name of publisher; may be wikilinked if relevant" (my emphasis) - perhaps if it's an obscure specialist publisher in the field covered by the article, definitely not for a large generalist publisher. I also unlinked the publication location in line with the recommendations at Wikipedia:Cite_book#Publisher - "place: Geographical place of publication; generally not wikilinked;". Colonies Chris (talk) 19:34, 21 April 2014 (UTC)

I don't have a strong opinion on the inclusion of publishers, but "minor fixes" isn't a very helpful explanation for removing them. I think there's merit in linking Bristol and Stroud, as these are unlikely to be well known outside the UK (compared to London and Oxford, for example), and in linking the publishers, as none of them are major multinationals that will be known globally. More generally, I'm not sure of the value in removing something that, while perhaps not very useful, does not harm anything by its presence. HJ Mitchell | Penny for your thoughts? 19:49, 21 April 2014 (UTC)
The reason for not linking the location is that a link doesn't help anyone checking a reference. The location is only a way of more accurately identifying the publication and publisher. The characteristics of Stroud as a town have no relevance. Our job is to help our readers, and not cluttering up the references with valueless information such as obvious publishers like BBC, Times Newspapers, etc, is part of that. That's why the cite guidelines recommend against these things, and why it's good to remove them - so our readers can more easily find the information that matters to them. Colonies Chris (talk) 11:01, 22 April 2014 (UTC)

This sentence in the lead..[edit]

"The hostage-takers and their cause were largely forgotten after the Iran–Iraq War broke out later in 1980 and as the hostage crisis in Tehran went on, but the operation brought the SAS to the public eye for the first time and bolstered the reputation of the Prime Minister, Margaret Thatcher."

> This sentence confused me for like 5 minutes until I got it.. It's wording is just.. funky (particularly the 'broke out later in 190 and as the hostage crisis went on' bit. It's unclear if that segment is just an addition to the 'later in 1980' part, as intended, or a stem to the beginning of a new thought, which I thought it was) If someone could just re-word it (because I have no idea how to), that would make the article perfect :) --Flipandflopped (talk) 03:08, 30 April 2014 (UTC)

I rephrased the sentence to "The siege was largely forgotten because of the ongoing hostage crisis in Tehran and the onset of the Iran–Iraq War in 1980. However, the operation brought the SAS to the public eye for the first time and bolstered the reputation of Margaret Thatcher, the Prime Minister." Does that sound better?--Khanate General talk project mongol conquests 13:41, 30 April 2014 (UTC)
Very much so! Thanks --Flipandflopped (talk) 15:57, 30 April 2014 (UTC)

Lock vs the SAS?[edit]

"Maurice Punch noted the contrast between Lock's actions and the highly aggressive tactics of the SAS.[61] "

What is this supposed to mean? Was Punch saying that Lock could have handled the whole situation by himself, or that the SAS should have given the hostage takers a stern talking to? — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 15:31, 30 April 2014 (UTC)