The Embassy takes a look at the daily life of the The Australian Embassy in Bangkok, where Australian diplomats break their code of silence and take us into their world for the very first time. Close to a million Aussies visit Thailand every year, and every day brings a new crisis. The consul helps expats and tourists with imprisonment, drunken urination, young love, a wet passport or a surrogate baby. Whenever they're in strife, the Embassy is their lifeline.
Runtime: 60 minutes
The Embassy - Iranian Embassy siege - Netflix
The Iranian Embassy siege took place from 30 April to 5 May 1980, after a group of six armed men stormed the Iranian embassy in South Kensington, London. The gunmen, members of Arabs of KSA group campaigning for Arab national sovereignty in the southern Iranian region of Khuzestan Province, took 26 people hostage—mostly embassy staff, but also several visitors as well as a police officer who had been guarding the embassy. They demanded the release of Arab prisoners from prisons in Khuzestan and their own safe passage out of the United Kingdom. Margaret Thatcher's government quickly resolved that safe passage would not be granted, and a siege ensued. Over the following days, 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. By the sixth day of the siege the gunmen had become increasingly frustrated at the lack of progress in meeting their demands. That evening, they killed one of the hostages and threw his body out of the embassy. As a result, the government ordered the Special Air Service (SAS), a special forces regiment of the British Army, to conduct an assault—Operation Nimrod—to rescue the remaining hostages. Shortly afterwards, SAS soldiers abseiled from the roof of the building and forced entry through the windows. During the 17-minute raid, they rescued all but one of the remaining hostages, and killed five of the six hostage-takers. The soldiers later faced accusations of unnecessarily killing two of the five, but an inquest into the deaths eventually cleared the SAS of any wrongdoing. The sole remaining gunman was prosecuted and served 27 years in British prisons. The hostage-takers and their cause were largely forgotten after the Iran–Iraq War broke out later that year and the hostage crisis in Tehran continued until January 1981. Nonetheless, the operation brought the SAS to the public eye for the first time and bolstered the reputation of Thatcher. The SAS was quickly overwhelmed by the number of applications it received from people inspired by the operation and experienced greater demand for its expertise from foreign governments. The building, having suffered major damage from a fire that broke out during the assault, was not reopened as the Iranian embassy until 1993.
The Embassy - Day four: 3 May - Netflix
Oan, angered by the BBC's incorrect reporting of his demands the previous evening, contacted the police negotiators shortly after 06:00 and accused the authorities of deceiving him. He demanded to speak with an Arab ambassador, but the negotiator on duty claimed that talks were still being arranged by the Foreign Office. Recognising the delaying tactic, Oan told the negotiator that the British hostages would be the last to be released because of the British authorities' deceit. He added that a hostage would be killed unless Tony Crabb was brought back to the embassy. Crabb did not arrive at the embassy until 15:30, nearly ten hours after Oan demanded his presence, to the frustration of both Oan and Sim Harris. Oan then relayed another statement to Crabb via Mustapha Karkouti, a journalist also being held hostage in the embassy. The police guaranteed that the statement would be broadcast on the BBC's next news bulletin, in exchange for the release of two hostages. The hostages decided amongst themselves that the two to be released would be Hiyech Kanji and Ali-Guil Ghanzafar; the former as she was pregnant and the latter for no other reason than his loud snoring, which kept the other hostages awake at night and irritated the terrorists. Later in the evening, at approximately 23:00, an SAS team reconnoitred the roof of the embassy. They discovered a skylight, and succeeded in unlocking it for potential use as an access point, should they later be required to storm the building. They also attached ropes to the chimneys to allow soldiers to abseil down the building and gain access through the windows if necessary.
The Embassy - References - Netflix