1979. The Shah has been overthrown and flees Iran. In Tehran, Iran. Islamic militants storm the U.S. Embassy and take more than 60 U.S. diplomats and citizens hostage and for 444 days the American people are gripped by the story that spawned what would become ABC News, Nightline.
The story of one Iranian hostage, not among those famously taken at the embassy, slips away from the public scrutiny; as an American, employed by Westinghouse Corporation to help liquidate possessions and homes of their employees who quickly fled the country in the midst of the turmoil. Under the guise of a Christmas vacation that saw the company hiring private jetliners to ferry their employees and families home to U.S. soil, leaving behind households and chaos.
In Off The Radar – A Father’s Secret, a Mother’s Heroism, and a Son’s Quest, author Cyrus Copeland delivers and amazing tale of his life as a child in Iran and his father being seized; accused of being in the employ of the CIA, and his Mother, a U.S. trained, Iranian lawyer’s legal intervention on her husband’s behalf. I think at some point in our lives we all wonder about our parents and their lives before we came along; some who have parents with interesting careers may raise out right questions.
It is that niggling doubt and lingering questions like; could my Father really have been a spy for the CIA that drove Copeland to delve into and tell the story of his Dad’s incarceration and trial. While the story of the embassy hostages was certainly engrossing, this is a story that clearly needed to be told.
Given the current state of U.S. and Iranian relations and the negotiations of nuclear deals Off The Radar also serves as a useful reminder of who we are dealing with and just how far off base Democrat leaders have been when it comes to Iran. Copeland writes that “just a few months after President Carter pronounced Iran an island of stability in the Middle East, the country descended into the maelstrom.”