As the global community continues to grapple with the coronavirus (COVID-19), the Atlantic Council is open for business. Our business, meetings, and events, however, are occurring virtually. For more information, please read an update from our President and CEO.

On April 24, 1980, the US military mounted a daring attempt to rescue 52 American hostages who had been held for more than six months in the US Embassy in Tehran. The effort failed and led to the deaths of eight American servicemen. Although the hostages were eventually freed on January 20, 1981, the experience of pain and humiliation engendered by these events continues to cloud US-Iran relations. A new documentary, Desert One, examines this history from both the Iranian and US perspectives. View the film, which is currently live and available for pay-for-viewing, and then watch this virtual panel discussion with the director, a former hostage, a member of the rescue team and an Iranian expert on US-Iran relations. 

A conversation with

Nasser Hadian
University of Tehran

Barbara Kopple
“Desert One”

Ambassador (Ret.) John Limbert
US State Department and US Naval Academy

Col. (Ret.) Ed Sieffert
United States Marine Corps

Moderated by

Barbara Slavin
Director, Future of Iran Initiative
Atlantic Council

Introduction by

Ambassador (Ret.) Stuart Eizenstat
Senior Counsel
Covington & Burling LLP