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Operation Eagle Claw (or Operation Evening Light or Operation Rice Bowl), known as Operation Tabas (Persian: عملیات طبس‎) in Iran, was a United States Armed Forces operation ordered by U.S. President Jimmy Carter to attempt to end the Iran hostage crisis by rescuing 52 embassy staff held captive at the Embassy of the United States, Tehran on 24 April 1980. Its failure, and the humiliating public debacle that ensued, damaged U.S. prestige worldwide. Carter himself blamed his loss in the 1980 U.S. presidential election mainly on his failure to win the release of the hostages. The operation encountered many obstacles and was eventually aborted. Eight helicopters were sent to the first staging area, Desert One, but only five arrived in operational condition. One encountered hydraulic problems, another got caught in a haboob, and the last one showed signs of a cracked rotor blade. During planning it was decided that the mission would be aborted if fewer than six helicopters remained, despite only four being absolutely necessary. In a move that is still discussed in military circles, the field commanders advised mission abort, which President Carter accepted and confirmed.

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