Tehran Rescue Caper Was Screen Gem

How a fake movie saved Americans trapped in revolutionary Iran
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(Newser) Wired looks back at one of the most daring (and cinematic) CIA operations ever declassified: the smuggling home of six American hostages during the 1980 Iranian revolution. With the Canadian government's help, agent Tony Mendez painstakingly crafted the elaborate guise of a Canadian sci-fi film crew scouting locations; eventually, the fake crew snuck past the Ayatollah.

Mendez pulled out all the stops—flashy clothes, a complete script, and even an ad in Variety. In fact, the trick fooled not only Tehran but Hollywood, where producers phoned the offices of the fictional Studio Six for updates on the film (Argo—after the mythical ship sent to rescue the golden fleece) and to pitch scripts.