The crisis was described by the western media as an entanglement of "vengeance and mutual incomprehension." In Iran, the hostage taking was widely seen as a blow against the United States and its influence in Iran, its perceived attempts to undermine the Iranian Revolution, and its longstanding support of the recently overthrown Shah of Iran, Mohammad Reza Pahlavi. Following his overthrow, the Shah was allowed into the U.S. for medical treatment. The Iranians wanted the United States to return the Shah to them for trial of the crimes committed by him during his reign on ordinary citizens with the help of his secret police, the SAVAK. In Iran the asylum granted by the U.S. to the Shah was seen as American complicity in the atrocities meted by the Shah on the Iranian people. In the United States, the hostage-taking was seen as an outrage violating the principle of international law granting diplomats immunity from arrest and diplomatic compounds' inviolability.
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