The Siege of the Iranian Embassy
On April 30th 1980 a six man Iraqi terrorist group burst into the
Iranian embassy. The embassy in Princes Gate, London, contained 20
people, which included a police constable. The terrorist wanted the
release of 91 political prisoners from jail in Iran and a plane for
them to escape. If their demands were not met they would execute all
the hostages and blow up the Embassy. The Metropolitan Police invited
B Squadron, 22 SAS onto the scene. Within hours of the siege starting
they had set up observation posts and where monitoring the terrorists.
Major Jeremy Phipps who had been in the SAS for 15 years, and had
fought in Borneo and Oman now commanded B squadron. He started
developing plans to break into the embassy and free the hostages. A
high-ranking group of government ministers and officials decided that
it would be best to negotiate. For five days the SAS practiced their
plans for the siege as the negotiations dragged on.
On May 5th the terrorists' patience cracked and they shot dead a
hostage, Abbas Lavasani. Listening devices inserted by the SAS picked
up the terrorist plans, which included killing more hostages. The time
for talk was over. The order to attack came from the top, the Prime
Minister Margaret Thatcher, 'The Iron Lady'. The police handed
responsibility for the operation to the SAS at 19:07. Fourteen minutes
later the assault began, operation 'Nimrod' was now underway.
Four SAS men broke into the front of the Embassy after jumping over an
adjoining balcony. They blew out the armoured windows with a 'frame
charge' (A long strip of C4 explosives). An eight-strong rear team
abseiled down from the roof. This almost ended in disaster when one of
the SAS men became entangled in his abseiling rope. He later received
burns after SAS stun and CS gas set the Embassy on fire.
As the frontal assault team was breaking through the front, the
terrorist leader tried to open fire on them but was brought to the
ground by hostage PC Trevor Lock. Trevor lock then attempted to arrest
the terrorist but the SAS soldiers pushed Trevor Lock off and then
shot the terrorist dead. As SAS soldiers swept through the building,
another terrorist was shot 21 times as he pointed a Browning pistol at
the SAS team. Sim Harris, one of the hostages, then made his escape
through one of the windows that had been blasted open by the entry.
Sim Harris sas
The escape of Sim Harris The SAS prepare for the siege.
helped by the SAS.
fire at the Iranian embassy
The fire caused by the CS and Stun gas.
In the Embassy's telex room three terrorists started to shoot the male
hostages when they heard gunfire and explosions. One hostage was
killed and two others were wounded. As one of the terrorists drew a
grenade, he was shot by the first SAS man to enter...