Iran Hostage Crisis 40th Anniversary Panel Discussion | Wilson Center
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Iran Hostage Crisis 40th Anniversary Panel Discussion

On November 4, 1979, a crowd of Iranian students charged into the US embassy in Tehran and took hostage 52 American diplomats and citizens. The resulting diplomatic standoff would last 444 days. Now, 40 years later, the Iran Hostage Crisis continues to loom as one of the defining moments in US-Iran relations. To mark the anniversary of this crucial event, a panel of US-Iran relations experts meet to discuss how the Crisis is viewed today and how it continues to play a role in US foreign policy.

The panel will be moderated by Haleh Esfandiari, former director and founder of the Wilson Center's Middle East Program.

Dr. Esfandiari will be joined on the panel by:

Bruce Riedel, Senior Fellow and Director of The Intelligence Project at the Brookings Institute.

Suzanne Maloney, Deputy Director of the Foreign Policy Program and Senior Fellow at the Center for Middle East Policy, Energy Security and Climate Initiative at the Brookings Institute.

John Limbert, retired US Diplomat and Distinguished Professor of International Affairs at the US Naval Academy. Ambassador Limbert was stationed in the US embassy in Iran in 1979 and was one of the diplomats held hostage, for which he received the Award of Valor.



  • Haleh Esfandiari

    Public Policy Fellow
    Former Director, Middle East Program, Woodrow Wilson Center


  • Bruce Riedel

    Senior Fellow and Director, Brookings Intelligence Project, Brookings Institution; Author, Kings and Presidents: Saudi Arabia and the United States since FDR
  • Suzanne Maloney

    Deputy Director, Foreign Policy Program, Brookings Institution and Senior Fellow, Brookings Center for Middle East Policy
  • John Limbert

    Distinguished Professor of International Affairs, United States Naval Academy