In the Shadow of the Ayatollah

A CIA Hostage in Iran

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Looming in the background of today’s dealings with Iran are the memories of 1979, when Islamic militants held U.S. diplomatic personnel hostage in the American Embassy in Tehran. In the Shadow of the Ayatollah relates the crisis through the unique perspective of Bill Daugherty, an officer for the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) serving at the embassy. Once his CIA connection was discovered, Daugherty became a special target of his captors and was subjected to extraordinarily harsh treatment. He managed to survive the ordeal by relying upon his Marine Corps training and combat experience, ultimately being awarded the State Department Medal of Valor and the CIA Exceptional Service Medal.

Drawing on intelligence information, declassified materials, interviews with key government officials, as well as his own firsthand knowledge, Daugherty sheds light on this disturbing event. In his account, Daugherty reveals the White House decision-making process in this crisis and how the Soviet Union was involved.

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Editorial Reviews

"Enthralling firsthand account . . . a concise yet comprehensive discussion of events in American-Iranian relations leading up to the seizure..." —The Middle East Journal