Iran marks historic US failure in Tabas Desert

Iran marks historic US failure in Tabas Desert

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.

Iranians have time and again pointed to Washington’s failed plots against Iran over the past four decades, stressing that the US failure in Tabas was a divine miracle.

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.

Imam Khomeini, the late founder of the Islamic Republic delivered a message to condemn the US act. part of the historic message comes as following: 

The complete text of the message comes as following:

In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful 

Now, our noble nation, a warrior nation, should come to itself to trust in God the Almighty and pretend in His design with all the ability and get prepared for a war against its own enemies because the big Satan has taken up his foolish mischief. The military, the army, the security forces, the volunteers, and the ganders—all should be alert and ready. The military of twenty million volunteers who have equipped themselves for sacrifice for Islam should be at standstill to defend their country when necessary.

They should not give into the terror of this failed attempt of America. God the omnipotent has defeated them. We are at the right. God is with us. I admonish Carter if he repeats again such a foolish act it will be difficult for us and the government to control the Muslim fighters and youths (Muslim students following in the footsteps of the Imām) who are guarding the spies. He himself personally shall be responsible for their safety. Finally, I would like to remark that the perverse and deviated groups in Kurdistān, which are anti-Islam, committed the troubles.

In the colleges, the leftist groups, pro-America, did all that turbulence and tumult in the sacred places. The disturbances and clashes that the illegitimate government of Iraq is doing at the borders; it appears that all these are linked with tangible proof to the assault of Carter and his military intervention.

At this sensitive time, if these perverted and devious groups go on with their mischievous, the nation will conclude that the mischief-mongers have a close contact and connection directly with America—the world-hungry. As such it will decide its obligation towards them. To ignore or to forget or to forego or to pardon will not be our polity then. I request all the youth to join the nation in defending the country. The unity is now in the interest of the country. Therefore, keep aside the perverted schools. I pray to God for the greatness of Islam and Muslims and the break of the links of tyrants.


May God’s peace, mercy and blessings be upon you.

Rūhullāh al-Mūsawī al-Khomeinī

   Sahifeh-ye-Imam, Vol.12, page 223-224

Read more: 

Failure of US operation in Tabas damaged US prestige worldwide

US failure in Tabas is considered as one of the greatest miracles of the century

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