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Inside Story of 1980 Iranian Embassy Siege to be Published by Viking

by | Apr 17, 2024 | News

Viking, part of Penguin Random House, has acquired “the definitive” account of the Iranian Embassy siege in London in 1980 when six gunmen belonging to a dissident Iranian group opposed to Iran’s leader Ayatollah Khomeini, took 26 people hostage and demanded the release of 91 political prisoners who were jailed in Iran.

 

The gunmen entered the building on 30 April with the world’s media watching a hundred yards away.  On 5 May the UK’s elite force, the SAS stormed the building.  The raid took just 15 minutes and ended with two hostages dead and one of the gunmen left alive.

 

In The Siege: The Remarkable Story of the Greatest SAS Hostage Drama, historian Ben Macintyre draws upon unpublished source material, exclusive interviews with the SAS and testimonies from witness, hostages, negotiators, intelligence officers and the on-site psychiatrist. The book documents the “remarkable story of what really happened on those fateful six days, and the first full account of a moment that forever changed the way the nation thought about the SAS – and itself”.

 

Viking non-fiction publishing director Daniel Crewe acquired UK and Commonwealth rights from Jonny Geller at Curtis Brown.  The Siege will be published on 12th September 2024 simultaneously in the UK, US and Canada.

 

Crewe said: “Everyone at Viking loves working with Ben Macintyre and it is thrilling to read him return to the SAS and describe this epic event with his typical mastery and panache. Just as Ben so vividly depicted the founding of what is now the most celebrated military organisation in the world in SAS: Rogue Heroes [Viking], he will show how they were resurrected thanks to these six days in London, with his usual phenomenal research, incredible storytelling and deep insight into worlds beyond our everyday lives.”

 

Macintyre added: “I was a teenager when the Iranian embassy siege took place and, like millions of others, I was glued to the television as it unfolded. It is such a pleasure to be able to tell this extraordinary story in full for the first time, from the perspectives of all those involved: the SAS, the police, the hostages, the gunmen, the media and the politicians. The true history of the siege is very different to the myth, and far more interesting.”

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