On 4 November 1979 revolutionary students stormed the United States embassy in Tehran taking dozens of US staff hostage.
Thousands of other protesters pressed around the compound, responding to a call by the country's new leader, Ayatollah Khomeini, to attack US and Israeli interests.
Of the 90 people in the compound, six Americans managed to escape to other embassies. Other non-US citizens were released. But 66 were captured, including three seized at the Foreign Ministry.