Tehran, November 1979. Militant students stormed the American
embassy and held sixty Americans captive for a gruelling 444 days.
But until now the CIA has never revealed the twist to the Iran
Hostage Crisis: six Americans escaped. The escape plot was run by
Antonio Mendez, head of the CIA's extraction team and a master of
disguise. Mendez came up with an idea so daring and potentially
foolish that it seemed destined for Hollywood... and indeed it was.
He invented a fake sci-fi film called 'Argo' (from the actual name
of the CIA mission, a reference to Jason and the Argonauts). After
announcing the production to the movie industry, Mendez put
together a team of real 1970s Hollywood actors, directors and
producers - along with covert CIA officers. They would travel to
revolutionary Iran under a foreign film visa, and while 'scouting
locations' throughout the country they would track down the six
Americans who were hiding out. After giving them false identities
as part of the film crew, they would spirit them back across the
border. One part 'Ocean's 11' and another part 'Black Hawk Down',
Mendez's mind-bogglingly complicated and risky gamble paid off:
each escapee was extracted without a shot being fired. Mendez is
considered one of the greatest officers in CIA history. The story
of this, his greatest mission, has never been told.