Transcript for Iran hostage crisis’ 40th anniversary marks continued tensions between two nations
The U.S. Embassy in Tehran has been invaded and occupied by Iranian students. The Americans inside have been taken prisoner and according to a student spokesman will be held as hostages until the deposed shah is returned from the united States. 40 years ago today Iranian militants stormed the U.S. Embassy in the Iranian capital, holding 52 Americans hostage. There are several hundred young people, mainly students at Tehran university, have taken over the embassy. We are not occupiers, they said. "We have thrown out the occupiers." The Iran crisis. ABC news started a series of nightly special reports. The students or whoever have seized the embassy there have threatened to kill the hostage. It eventually became "Nightline," anchored by Ted Koppel. Good evening. This is a new broadcast in the sense that it is permanent and will continue after the Iran crisis is over. Is your country do you think going to take out its anger over the flight of the shah on the American hostages? "Nightline's" signature must-see interviews with newsmakers and family members of hostages drove the coverage. Why are we not being allowed to hear from the hostages? Well, perhaps one reason is because your CIA is so sophisticated. Reporter: After 444 days in captivity the American hostages were released. Now, four decades later, reminders of that troubling past and uncertain future. As protesters today burned American flags outside the former U.S. Embassy in Tehran.
This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.