On April 30th (Wednesday) 1980 (42 years ago tomorrow), a group of 6 armed terrorists took over the Iranian Embassy in London (16 Princes Gate, just across from Hyde Park) and took the diplomatic staff and several bystanders hostage including a police office, PC Trevor Lock. Their intrusion triggered an ordeal that would end with one of the most famous counter-terrorism operations in British history (Operation Nimrod). On 5th May (Monday), after a 6 day siege involving tense negotiations between the terrorists and the Metropolitan Police the situation deteriorated – believing their demands were not going to be met the terrorists killed one of the hostages, based on this it was assessed there was an increased and immediate threat to the hostages, and the decision (at Government level) was made to resolve the crisis by force. At 1907 the police handed over control to the military and the ‘go-go-go’ was ordered and the building was stormed by the Special-Air-Service (SAS) in full view of the world’s media. The actual building assault and initial clearance took approx. 17 minutes, the siege was over and the 19 remining hostages freed. At 1940, control of the operation and situation was handed back to the police.
Today, 16 Princes gate remains the Embassy of The Islamic Republic of Iran – on my morning run I diverted slightly so I could pass by Princes Gate and the Embassy.
Here at VALKYRIE (GB) LIMITED, on the 42nd anniversary of this event we take a moment to reflect and remember all who have and continue serve in the Armed Forces, the police and Blue-Light services.