The Islamic Republic of Iran has marked the 34th anniversary of a failed US military operation on Iranian soil that was launched in an attempt to release former US embassy staff held in Tehran after the 1979 Islamic Revolution.
On Friday, hundreds of Iranians from the city of Tabas and other neighboring cities gathered at a mosque for an annual commemoration ceremony. A number of Iranian officials, including Majlis Speaker Ali Larijani, were also among the participants.
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 abortion 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.
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.