Professionalism/Canadian Caper – Wikibooks, open books for an open world

Historical past[edit]

The return of the six American hostages.

On January 16, 1979 Mohammad Reza Pahlavi, the present Shah, fled Iran after utilizing “secret police” to regulate the nation. On February 1, 1979 Ayatollah Khomeini, the previous chief of the opposition to the Shah, returned to Iran and took energy as chief of Iran. On April 1, 1979, after a country-wide vote, Ayatollah Khomeini declared Iran an Islamic Republic and Ayatollah Khomeini was named the supreme religious chief. [1] Seven months later, on November 4, 1979 Iranian Islamic college students stormed the U.S. embassy taking 90 individuals hostage, 66 of which have been Individuals. The scholars have been protesting in opposition to the Shah being within the U.S. to obtain medical therapy for most cancers. They demanded the US extradite the Shah in order that he could also be put to trial in Iran. Two weeks later, all non-U.S. hostages have been launched. [2]

There have been 9 Individuals who slid out of a again door on November 4, 1979. 4 of the 9 have been caught and made into hostages. The remaining 5 Individuals moved across the metropolis for the following week earlier than calling the Canadian Embassy. On November 10, 1979, the Canadians started hiding the 5 Individuals. One week later, one other American, who was away from the embassy on the day of the takeover, joined the Individuals on the Canadian Embassy. [3]

On January 20, 1981, (which was the identical day as Ronald Reagan’s inauguration,) the 52 remaining hostages have been launched, then despatched on to the Tehran airport, and flown to west Germany after their 14 months ordeal of being held in captivity. [4], [5]

Studio Six Productions[edit]

Robert Anders, one of many six escapees from the Iranian Hostage Disaster in 1979 shows his faux “Studio 6” enterprise card.

Antonio Mendez, a Central Intelligence Company ex-filtration officer, was put in control of getting the six Individuals out of Iran. He started brainstorming on a strategy to get the Individuals out of Iran. He determined to create a faux manufacturing firm searching for a location to movie. Thus, Studio Six Productions was created. Mendez felt as if a rescue mission consisting of navy motion was out of the query based mostly on the geographic location of Tehran. Mendez and Jerome Calloway , a Hollywood good friend, learn by means of scripts looking for the very best one. They wished one which was science fiction and occurred within the Center East. Calloway and Mendez lastly selected one script that they renamed ‘Argo’ after an inside joke between the 2 males. Calloway helped to arrange a faux studio location in Hollywood together with commercials and press releases. Mendez arrived in Europe on January 22 and arrived in Iran on the morning of January 25th. Mendez and Julio, a second agent despatched to assist within the rescue, met the six Individuals later that day within the Canadian Embassy. By the night of January 27th, all paperwork (passports and embarking slips) have been accomplished, with the assistance of Kenneth Taylor. The six Individuals have been shortly studying their elements for the manufacturing firm even utilizing one another’s clothes to make new outfits to assist “get into the position.” Interrogation assessments occurred that evening to copy what would possibly occur on the airport. This take a look at helped the Individuals higher perceive their roles and again tales. On Monday morning, January 28, 1980, Mendez, Julio, and the Individuals have been set to depart Iran by means of the Mehrabad Airport on a Swissair flight. Clearing safety was pretty easy. Because the eight started clearing the ultimate safety examine to board the Swissair flight, a delay of the flight was introduced resulting from mechanical issues. After an hour of ready, the flight was capable of board. By lunch time on January 28, 1980, Mendez, Julio, and the six Individuals have been safely in Zurich, Switzerland and the rescue had been successful.[6][7]

Moral Issues[edit]

Individuals displaying gratitude to the Canadians

Canadians performed central position within the Iran operation. They weren’t bystanders even to outsiders. Canada’s position within the Canadian Caper was revealed three months after they assisted the Individuals to security. The incident caused an outpouring of pro-Canadian sentiment in the US.[8] The operation itself was initiated at nice private danger to Canadians and Canadian property. The Canadians didn’t hesitate to offer help when the repercussions got. Their skilled boundaries prolonged past that of their nation as they exemplified braveness and integrity.

They have been sticking their necks out greater than we have been. They might be in additional bother for harboring us.[9]

—Robert Anders, Consular Official of the united statesEmbassy

Kenneth Taylor[edit]

Kenneth Taylor performed a vital position in offering intelligence on the hostage disaster to Canadian and American intelligence companies.[10] The Canadian Ambassador first heard of the Embassy takeover from his Swedish colleague. He had been head of Canada’s Commerce Commissioner Service when he was despatched to Tehran in 1977 as a result of Iran, beneath the Shah, was a buying and selling companion of rising significance. Fortunately, he proved to be greater than a salesman. In January 1979, when the Shah’s regime was collapsing, he organized the evacuation of 850 Canadians from Iran. Kenneth Taylor was the best man, in the best job, on the proper time.[11] He proved to be a pacesetter as soon as once more. Taylor was the mastermind who orchestrated the evacuation course of. Taylor helped the six Individuals escape by getting them Canadian passports to assist in getting previous the Iranian Revolutionary guard. On the night earlier than the escape, Kenneth Taylor drew a sketch of the inside of Mehrabad Airport terminal to information the six Individuals to security. Taylor excelled in ensuring the Individuals have been secure all whereas figuring out the operation itself was an amazing private danger. Telegrams have been despatched on Taylor’s behalf, as he made positive consciousness was unfold.

I feel we carried it out with a level of professionalism and roughly in a cool and calculated manner.[12]

—Kenneth Taylor, Canadian Diplomat

Taylor agreed to deal with two of the six Individuals alongside his colleague John Sheardown, who agreed to deal with the remaining 4.

John Sheardown[edit]

John Sheardown, Canada’s Chief Immigration Officer, was whom American Official Robert Anders first contacted.[13] Being an outdated good friend to Anders, Sheardown made it his responsibility to assist when Anders requested for shelter. He invited Anders and his colleagues to remain on the dwelling he shared along with his spouse. Mr. Anders remembers Sheardown’s preliminary response: “Why did you wait so lengthy to name me? Come on over”. [14] Sheardown’s response figuring out confidently that he and Taylor have been as much as the duty:

Hell, sure. In fact. Rely on us.[15]

—John Sheardown, Head immigration official

Sheardown and Taylor additionally provided to absorb any and all of Tehran’s international correspondents ought to they get into bother with the unpredictable revolutionaries. The Sheardowns sheltered 4 of the six Individuals for 79 days of their 20-room dwelling within the coronary heart of Tehran. [16] Housing 4 individuals beneath one roof just isn’t straightforward; they’d an Iranian gardener and a Filipino maid. In the course of the months they housed the Individuals, the Sheardowns took inventive precautions to keep away from tipping off the authorities. Sheardown needed to drive to a number of grocery shops day by day and take rubbish with him on path to work, to camouflage the quantity of refuse they have been producing all whereas being beneath Iranian surveillance. [17] Mr. Anders even states that it was John who stored their confidence excessive and who stored them feeling safe by means of the months.[18] He demonstrated loyalty. “It could have been egocentric of us not to take action,” Mrs. Sheardown advised the Related Press. “There weren’t many locations to cover in Iran, we had the room, they wanted our assist and it was simply not in John’s nature to refuse assist to anybody.”[19]

Flora MacDonald[edit]

Flora McDonald urged transferring the Individuals out of Iran, a call based mostly on Taylor’s promptings and warnings. It was a call that U.S Authorities officers have been laying aside. As Canada’s formal Exterior Affairs Officer, Flora MacDonald’s foresight and persistence set the evacuation plan that Ken Taylor launched into movement. A transfer that would have simply failed.[20] Flora MacDonald knew how essential it was to assist the Individuals quickly, and as a superior to Taylor she knew it was her responsibility to ensure Taylor’s warnings have been being heard. She was non-paternalistic in her obligations as Taylor’s superior. MacDonald turned a significant level of contact for the American authorities officers. This was across the time suspicions have been escalating and it was important {that a} resolution be made. One may ask if it was not for Flora MacDonald’s persistence and strain, would the U.S. have proceeded to rescue the Individuals in time? We will assume that if she didn’t converse up when Taylor wanted the help, the outcomes may have been detrimental for each events.

Jean Pelletier[edit]

As The Washington correspondent of the Quebec paper La Presse, Jean Pelletier, had been curious in regards to the scenario. He was first alerted by the truth that U.S. officers have been referring to completely different numbers of hostages. He discovered it arduous to consider that the Individuals didn’t know precisely how many individuals they’d in Tehran. Informed by the Minister at Canada’s Washington Embassy, Gilles Mathieu, that Canada was “probably the most helpful American ally within the disaster,” Pelletier assumed that the American escapees have been harbored by the Canadians.[21] He approached the Canadian Embassy for affirmation. Canadian Ambassador to the US Peter Towe, warned Pelletier of the hazard to the Individuals ought to the story be damaged and urged him to carry off on publication. Pelletier, knew the implications of publishing and had already determined that he wouldn’t break the story till the Individuals have been safely out of Iran. It was a career-making scoop, and Pelletier’s managing editor wished it in his newspaper instantly.[22] His colleagues additionally didn’t agree along with his conclusion. Pelletier refused:

You possibly can’t simply merely apply your precept of publish-and-be-damned to every scenario, no matter circumstance. [23]

—Jean Pelletier, Information reporter

As an expert who demonstrated true integrity, Pelletier managed to persuade his managing editor and group, to agree to not publish instantly.

Much less moral journalists may not attain the identical conclusion.[24]

—Peter Towe, Canadian Ambassador to the U.S.

Generalizable Lesson[edit]

There have been many Canadians concerned within the rescue of the six American hostages. Whereas Kenneth Taylor’s work and energy claimed him fame and a number of awards within the U.S, the others stood out as unsung heroes. It is very important see that every particular person impacted each other indirectly. One couldn’t do it alone. This show of worldwide co-operation exhibits that as professionals, it is very important have braveness and integrity. With out these traits, the Canadians would have been bystanders permitting the Individuals to be captured. What direct cause did they’ve in interfering with such circumstances? We knew how a lot they might lose, however what would they acquire? Kenneth Taylor and John Sheardown took on this mission out of loyalty to an outdated good friend. Flora MacDonald agreed that it needs to be prime precedence, though it didn’t concern Canada and Jean Pelletier proved even the small activity may have enormous outcomes.

The Secrecy Impact[edit]

Jean Pelletier had the information scoop of a life time. He may have uncovered the six Individuals on the Canadian Embassy and sky rocketed his profession. As a substitute, he realized the importance of protecting this story beneath wraps for the security of the Individuals and Canadians alike. By protecting the story of the Canadians harboring the Individuals, Jean Pelletier confirmed true professionalism. He put his job apart and stood up for what was proper and obligatory on the time. Via his integrity, the Secrecy Impact is discovered, or the power to do rise up for what is correct, even if you end up pressured.

The Canadian Impact[edit]

The Canadians on this story confirmed true professionalism. Kenneth Taylor and John Sheardown have been placing their lives on the road to assist shield 5 random people not together with Roberts Anders who was an outdated good friend. This was made a bit simpler with the approval of their superior, Flora McDonald who was placing the nation’s popularity on the road. Via their braveness and loyalty, the Canadian Impact is discovered, or the power to do the best factor with no worry of consequence. The Canadians have been going above and past by taking within the six Individuals with none questions and caring for them till they have been as soon as once more secure.


  1. Iran Chamber Society. (2013). Islamic revolution of 1979. past/islamic_revolution/islamic_revolution.php
  2. 1979: Militants storm US embassy in Tehran. (2005, November 4). BBC Information.
  3. Wald, M. (1980, February 12). Iran embassy escapee says eight fled with him however Four have been captured. The New York Occasions.
  4. Weismen, S. (1981, January 20). Reagan takes oath as 40th president; guarantees an ‘period of nationwide renewal’. The New York Occasions.
  5. Johnson, S., & Johnson, S. (2013, March 11). Frozen in time: Eerie footage contained in the . Mail On-line.
  6. Mendez, A. & Baglio, M. (2012, September 17). The true story behind operation ‘Argo’ to rescue Individuals from Iran. The Day by day Beast,
  7. Mendez, A. Central Intelligence Company, Historic Doc. (2008). A basic case of deception.
  8. 1980: Canadian Caper helps Individuals escape Tehran (n.d.).
  9. Iran Embassy Escapee Says eight Fled With Him However Four Had been Captured (Feb. 13, 1980).
  10. Former Canadian Ambassador Admits To Spying For CIA (2010). material/Former_Canadian_Ambassador_Admits_To_Spying_For_CIA/1938176.html
  11. Ken Taylor and the Canadian Caper (2012).
  12. The Gazette – Ken Taylor says Canadians performed central position in Iran operation. Retrieved from
  13. The Canadian Caper.
  14. Iran Embassy Escapee Says eight Fled With Him However Four Had been Captured (Feb. 13, 1980).
  15. The Canadian Caper.
  16. IBT – John Sheardown Dies; Canadian Diplomat Who Sheltered Individuals In Iran Hostage Disaster Did Not Seem In ‘Argo’. (2013)
  17. John Sheardown, Canadian Diplomat Who Saved American “Argo” Hostages in Iran, RIP. (2013)
  18. Iran Embassy Escapee Says eight Fled With Him However Four Had been Captured (Feb. 13, 1980).
  19. IBT – John Sheardown Dies; Canadian Diplomat Who Sheltered Individuals In Iran Hostage Disaster Did Not Seem In ‘Argo’. (2013)
  20. The Windsor Star (March 28, 1981) – Iran Rescue: Our Bashful Heroes.,3794740
  21. Ken Taylor and the Canadian Caper (2012).
  22. The Canadian Caper.
  23. 30: Thirty Years of Journalism and Democracy in Canada : The Minifie Lectures, 1981 – 2010 (pg. 343)
  24. Ken Taylor and the Canadian Caper (2012).


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