Historic US failure in Iran’s Tabas Desert

Historic US failure in Iran’s Tabas Desert

Iran has marked the anniversary of a failed US military operation in the central Tabas Desert. It was launched on April 24, 1980. The operation was meant to release US embassy staff held in Tehran after the 1979 Islamic Revolution. But a sandstorm hit and brought down the group of US military aircraft

The Operation Eagle Claw, a failed US military operation in Iran’s central Tabas Desert that was launched in an attempt to release former US embassy staff held in Tehran after the 1979 Islamic Revolution, was an “absolute catastrophe” and serves as a warning for President Donald Trump not to initiate a war against Iran, a political analyst and former US Senate candidate has said.

“The Operation Eagle Claw, undertaken by President Jimmy Carter and US Special Forces, was an absolute catastrophe. It leaves us wondering all these many years later what would have happened if these Special Forces had actually reached the American embassy in downtown Tehran," said Mark Dankof. 

"I suspect that a great number of people would have been killed on all sides. I suspect that it would have been an even bigger disaster if that operation had actually reached Tehran,” the analyst said in a phone interview with Press TV on Friday.

“It stands as a warning to the president of the United States now and to the American people that we don’t need a war with Iran of all kinds of things to go wrong and a new generation where Iran is far more equipped to deal with the United States in such situations that what would have been the case going all the way back to 40 years ago,” added Dankof, who is a broadcaster in San Antonio, Texas,

On April 25, 1980, the United States launched a covert military operation, known as Operation Eagle Claw, in an attempt to airlift the US embassy staff held in the Iranian capital, Tehran.

However, a sandstorm hit and brought down the group of US military aircraft in the Tabas Desert, killing eight American servicemen and resulting in the failure of the mission. Inspections showed a helicopter crashed into a C-130 Hercules transport plane as five other choppers were stranded in the storm.

The units involved in the operation were from the US Air Force, Army, Navy and Marine Corps.

Operation Eagle Claw: A disaster at desert

The Tabas incident occurred during the administration of former US President Jimmy Carter, and many believe it played a major role in Carter’s defeat in the 1980 presidential election in the US.

Iran commemorates the event every year as a symbol of the failure of US plots against the Islamic Republic.

During the takeover of the embassy, documents were discovered that proved some of the American embassy staff had been working with US intelligence agencies; meaning they were spies. Some 52 Americans were held in Tehran for 444 days, but later released unharmed.

Operation Eagle Claw ‘a success’ if US dares to wage war with Iran

During the phone interview on Friday, Dankof also pointed to US Republican Congressman Matt Gaetz, who warned Iran against taking any hostile actions against US forces.

Gaetz told Iran to “get its act together” or prepare to “meet General [Qassem] Soleimani,” referring to the late Iranian commander who was martyred by the US military during a diplomatic mission in Iraq in January. 

Dankof called Gaetz a Republican “chicken hawk who sings to the tune of Israel,” and said, “This guy was not born until 1982 and was not alive for Operation Eagle Claw.”

“The fact of the matter is that Matt Gaetz is nothing more than a paid employee of the Israeli lobby of AIPAC. He knows nothing about military affairs, the Middle East, about Iran and its history with the United States. He is parroting what he has been told to parrot by AIPAC and other Israeli lobby organizations,” Dankof said.

“Trump must stop listening to these people,” he underlined. “The US assassination of Soleimani was a crime, a crime against humanity, against international law, a crime against the constitution of the United States.”

“One thing is absolutely sure that the Iranian people are not going to forget what happened to General Soleimani, the world is not going to forget what happened to General Soleimani and if the United States persists in these naval incidents in the Persian Gulf, and if the United States persists since Benjamin Netanyahu and the Israeli lobby in these attempts to get the United States to fight a surrogate war against Iran, it is going to be a catastrophe,” the political analyst said.

“If people think Operation Eagle Claw is a bad memory … they’d better get ready, because if the US ignites Netanyahu’s war and AIPAC’s war against Iran, Operation Eagle Claw will seem like a success compared what the outcome will be,” Dankof concluded.

On January 3, the US assassinated General Soleimani, commander of the Quds Force of Iran's Islamic Revolution Guards Corps, and Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, the second-in-command of Iraq’s Popular Mobilization Units (PMU), and a group of their companions in Baghdad. The operation was conducted with the authorization of Trump. The Pentagon took responsibility for the assassination.

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