How the 1980 Iranian Embassy Siege Changed my life as an ITN News Producer

INTERVIEW by Nayab Chohan

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EXCLUSIVE

Stewart Purvis was a news producer at ITN when the SAS were about to storm the Iranian embassy. He explains the decisions he took that resulted in those iconic pictures being broadcast on British television and how they changed his life. Watch it here

Background

The Iranian Embassy siege took place from 30 April to 5 May 1980, after a group of six armed men stormed the Iranian embassy in South Kensington, London.

The gunmen took 26 people hostage—mostly embassy staff, but several visitors and a police officer, who had been guarding the embassy, were also held. The hostage-takers, members of a group campaigning for the autonomy of Iran’s Khūzestān Province, demanded the release of Arab prisoners from jails in Khūzestān and their own safe passage out of the United Kingdom. The British government quickly resolved that safe passage would not be granted, and a siege ensued. Over the…

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