The Iranian Embassy siege took place from 30 April to 5 May 1980, after a group of six armed men stormed the Iranian embassy on Prince’s Gate in South Kensington, London. The gunmen, Iranian Arabs campaigning for sovereignty of Khuzestan Province, took 26 people hostage, including embassy staff, several visitors, and a police officer who had been guarding the embassy. They demanded the release of prisoners in Khuzestan and their own safe passage out of the United Kingdom. The British government quickly decided that safe passage would not be granted and a siege ensued. Subsequently, police negotiators secured the release of five hostages in exchange for minor concessions, such as the broadcasting of the hostage-takers’ demands on British television.
Identified in the photographs as ‘the man with no gloves’, Blue Team leader Rusty Firmin lead his 6-man team at the rear of the building into the library. The SAS swiftly cleared the building and lead the hostages to safety down the main stairwell. Faisal, 2nd in command of the terrorist group, attempted to disguise himself as a hostage, as he ran down the stairs. He was armed with a grenade. He was spotted and shot by Rusty at the bottom of the stairs. As the grenade rolled from Faisal’s lifeless hand, it was found that fortunately he had failed to remove the safety pin.