The movie about the daring mission to rescue American diplomats from Tehran portrayed a single C.I.A. officer sneaking into the Iranian capital. In re

C.I.A. Discloses Identity of Second Spy Involved in ‘Argo’ Operation

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2023-09-14 17:00:02

The movie about the daring mission to rescue American diplomats from Tehran portrayed a single C.I.A. officer sneaking into the Iranian capital. In reality, the agency sent two officers.

In the midst of the 1979 Iran hostage crisis, the C.I.A. began what came to be noted as one of the spy agency’s most successful publicly known operations: the rescue of six American diplomats who had escaped the overrun U.S. Embassy — using a fake movie as the cover story.

“Argo,” the real-life 2012 movie about the C.I.A.’s fake movie, portrayed a single C.I.A. officer, Tony Mendez, played by Ben Affleck, sneaking into Tehran to rescue the American diplomats in a daring operation.

But in reality, the agency sent two officers into Tehran. For the first time on Thursday, the C.I.A. is releasing the identity of that second officer, Ed Johnson, in the season finale of its new podcast, “The Langley Files.”

Mr. Johnson, a linguist, accompanied Mr. Mendez, a master of disguise and forgery, on the flight to Tehran to cajole the diplomats into adopting the cover story, that they were Canadians who were part of a crew scouting locations for a science fiction movie called “Argo.” The two then helped the diplomats with forged documents and escorted them through Iranian airport security to fly them home.

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