Iranian Embassy Siege - Aftermath


PC Trevor Lock was awarded the George Medal, the United Kingdom's second-highest civil honour, for his conduct during the siege and for tackling Oan during the SAS raid—the only time during the siege that he drew his concealed side arm. Sergeant Tommy Palmer was awarded the Queen's Gallantry Medal for his part in the assault, in which he shot dead a terrorist who was apparently about to throw a grenade amongst the hostages. After the operation concluded, the staff sergeant who was caught in his abseil rope was treated at St Stephen's Hospital in Fulham. He suffered serious burns to his legs, but went on to make a full recovery.

The Iranian government welcomed the end of the siege, and declared that the two hostages killed were martyrs for the Iranian Revolution. They also thanked the British government for "the persevering action of your police force during the unjust hostage-taking event at the Embassy".

After the assault concluded, the police conducted an investigation into the siege and the deaths of the two hostages and five terrorists, including the actions of the SAS. The soldiers' weapons were taken away for examination and, the following day, the soldiers themselves were interviewed at length by the police at the regiment's base in Hereford. There was controversy over the deaths of two terrorists in the telex room, where the male hostages were held. Hostages later said in interviews that they had persuaded their captors to surrender and television footage appeared to show them throwing weapons out of the window and holding a white flag. The two SAS soldiers who killed the men both stated at the inquest into the terrorists' deaths that they believed the men had been reaching for weapons before they were shot. The inquest jury reached the verdict that the soldiers' actions were justifiable homicide (later known as "lawful killing").

Fowzi Nejad was the only gunman to survive the SAS assault. After being identified, he was dragged away by an SAS trooper, who allegedly intended to take him back into the building and shoot him. The soldier reportedly changed his mind when it was pointed out to him that the raid was being broadcast on live television. It later emerged that the footage from the back of the embassy was coming from a wireless camera placed in the window of a flat overlooking the embassy. The camera had been installed by ITN technicians, who had posed as guests of a local resident in order to get past the police cordon, which had been in place since the beginning of the siege. Nejad was arrested, and was eventually tried, convicted and sentenced to life imprisonment for his role in the siege. He became eligible for parole in 2005. As a foreign national, he would normally have been immediately deported to his home country. However, Article 3 of the Human Rights Act 1998, which incorporates the European Convention on Human Rights into British law, prohibits deportation in cases where the deportee would likely be tortured or executed in his home country. Nejad was eventually paroled in 2008 and granted leave to remain in the UK, but was not given political asylum. The Home Office released a statement, saying "We do not give refugee status to convicted terrorists. Our aim is to deport people as quickly as possible but the law requires us to first obtain assurances that the person being returned will not face certain death". After 27 years in prison, Nejad was deemed no longer to be a threat to society, but Trevor Lock wrote to the Home Office to oppose his release.

Read more about this topic:  Iranian Embassy Siege

Famous quotes containing the word aftermath:

    The aftermath of joy is not usually more joy.
    Mason Cooley (b. 1927)