CIA reveals the name of the second agent of the Argo mission in Iran –

For the first time, the CIA has revealed the identity of the second officer who played a key role in the rescue mission in Iran in 1980, at the height of the revolution that led to the birth of the Islamic Republic. The operation consisted of taking him out of the country. six American diplomats disguised as a film crew. The group was assisted by two CIA agents. The mission was so bold that it inspired Oscar-winning film Argon. was released in 2012 starring Ben Affleck.

The story is known. With Canadian help, two CIA officers and six American officials pretended to be on the lookout. filming locations for the sci-fi film Argo. And eventually they managed to evade Iranian security and board a ship bound for Zurich. So far, only the name of one of the agents was known. Disguise and forgery specialist Tony Mendez, who died in 2019, but the CIA has now revealed the identity of the second officer. It’s about Ed Johnson, secret extraction expert, also known to Mendez’s wife, Jonna, also a secret agent, who described him BBC as an “extremely accomplished linguist” expert in creating false documents. “He seemed perfect for the job he was doing,” he said.

The revelation was made last September 14 in an episode of the Langley Files podcast, in which the CIA revealed previously unpublished details of the mission provided by Johnson himself. As stated, the most difficult part of the operation was convince diplomats that they can deceive the Iranians and pass for a film crew. “These were people who were not trained to lie to authorities,” Johnson said. The secret agent, who has extensive experience in the Middle East, speaks many languages, including Arabic, but not Farsi, the official language of Iran. However, his German came in handy when he and Mendez accidentally found each other right in front of the then-occupied American embassy.where 52 US citizens were taken hostage in 1979. (they will not be released until 1981, after 444 days). There, a German-speaking Iranian guard helped the two spies find a taxi to take them to the Canadian Embassy, ​​where six diplomats were also holed up. “I have to thank the Iranians for being there a beacon that led us to the right place,” Johnson stated this in an interview with the CIA.

The 2012 film features the group’s escape from Iran. happens on the razor’s edge Iranian troops tried to pursue the plane. The reality, Johnson recalled, was much less eventful, with diplomats relaxed and “confident” in the final stages of the mission.

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