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Hanging by a thread

As defence cuts threaten the future of special forces, exclusive images reveal how the Iranian embassy siege, which brought the SAS worldwide fame, could have gone badly wrong

By Jay Elwes   December 2012

Last month’s article on the future of special forces by Robert Fry, former Deputy Commanding General in Iraq, led to an approach from two former members of the Special Air Service (SAS). Their recollections of storming the Iranian embassy in London on 5th May, 1980, the event that brought fame to the British army’s most secretive unit, show that the assault did not go as smoothly as politicians later claimed. So do their photographs, published here for the first time in the media. But they echo one of Fry’s points—that forces’ awareness of their political value is a weapon in…

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