1979 iranian revolution

A failed foray into international diplomacy with Iran revealed key takeaways on public and back-channel diplomacy, recalls Franklin T. Burroughs. 

Sen. Ted Cruz’s bill to forbid an Iranian diplomat from entering the U.S. got President Barack Obama’s signature Friday, though the president noted he still considers the law “advisory.” The law spearheaded by the typically polarizing Texas Republican was a rare moment of consensus in D.C.: Obama’s sign-off follows unanimous passage in the Senate and House last week.

November 4 is the 34th anniversary of the seizure of the U.S. Embassy in Tehran by Islamist students who held 52 U.S. diplomats hostage for 444 days. The 1979 crisis triggered a break in diplomatic relations between Iran and the United States and led to decades of mutual hostility. Today, the former embassy building houses a museum that is only occasionally open to the public. Here's a rare look inside the historic site.