At 11:30 on 30 April 1980 a six-man team calling itself the 'Democratic Revolutionary Movement for the Liberation of Arabistan' (DRMLA), captured the embassy of the Islamic Republic of Iran in Prince's Gate, South Kensington in central London.
Initially the group's demands were for the autonomy of an Arab-majority petroleum-rich region in southern Iran known as Khūzestān (the Arabistan of the group's name); later they demanded the release of ninety-one of their comrades, alleged political prisoners of the Iranian government, held in jails in Iran.
When the group first stormed the building, 26 hostages were taken (including PC Trevor Lock, the police constable on official protection duty at the main entrance, and two visiting BBC personnel - journalist Chris Cramer and sound recordist Sim Harris - who had stopped by to pick up visas), but five were released over the following few days. Police negotiators attempted to mollify the gunmen with supplies of food and cigarettes, and on the third day a statement by the group was broadcast on BBC Radio 2 following threats to kill a hostage (which was missed by the group as they were tuning in to Radio 4 instead). The unit's Iraqi handler had promised the group that the Jordanian ambassador would intervene to provide safe passage, but when it became clear this was not going to happen, the situation in the embassy deteriorated. To the point where a hostage was shot, and dumped outside...What happened after that will forever go down in Special Forces history.
Salute to the boys from Regents park.
Lt_Col WIZ, VC, MiD (Ret)