November 4, 2014 marks the 35th anniversary of the Hostage Crisis in Iran, a crisis with far reaching consequences for Iran when a group of revolutionary students climbed the walls of the American Embassy to express their objection to the United States granting a medical visa to the Shah of Iran. Instead of a short revolutionary takeover, the Iranian government of Ayatollah Khomeini endorsed the action, surprising the students who had initiated the takeover. This made the takeover into a political occupation that lasted 444 days. Iran lost a lot, its assets were frozen in the U.S., Saddam Hussein saw an opportunity in September 1980 to invade Iran and start an eight war war that cost hundred of thousands of deaths, and since November 1979, Iran has not been able to shake its negative public image.
But as this Special Report by the Economist points out, “after decades of messianic fervour, Iran is becoming a more mature and modern country.” The Rouhani government is determined to end the pariah status of the Islamic Republic because he knows the young Iranian society today is anything but revolutionary today. They want their country to join the international community, stop internal repression of student movements and journalists, and eliminate the painful sanctions that continue to hurt the middle class and the poor.