Just returned from seeing the new movie Argo. Ben Affleck directs the story of the CIA-assisted escape of six Americans hiding in Iran at the home of a Canadian diplomat; the six American consular officials slipped out of the American Embassy in Tehran on November 4, 1979 as it was overrun by militant students. The remaining 52 Americans were held hostage.
The movie is based on the book written by retired CIA operative Antonio Mendez and journalist Matt Baglio. Ben Affleck plays Mendez. The film uses actual news footage and ends with comments from President Jimmy Carter.
For some viewers, the film -which does take artistic license with details - is a before-my-lifetime history lesson, but for many who vividly recall this event, the movie reveals one now-declassified story from that horrible violence which lasted 444 days for the Americans left behind.
President Clinton declassified the information in 1997. Argo is a story worth telling – a story of immense courage, hope and redemptive imagination.
(S-R archives photo: Former Iranian secret agent Saeed Hajjarian points to a copy of a photograph showing a U.S. hostage and an Iranian during the 1979 seizure of the U.S. Embassy in Tehran.)