Iran Hostage Crisis

1979: The Iranian Revolution is at its peak. Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini has returned to Iran after 15 years in exile to replace Iran’s monarchy with an Islamic Republic. Just two weeks earlier, Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi fled Iran fearing for his safety. The Shah had silenced political dissidents, his military shot religious demonstrators, and, with the help of the United States, he had established SAVAK, Iran’s deeply feared secret police. Thus, The Shah and the United States were both widely resented in Iran.

After fleeing Iran, The Shah developed cancer and required emergency surgery. Under the advisement of former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger, President Jimmy Carter granted The Shah asylum in the US in October 1979. Because of this, on November 4, 1979, an Iranian student group called the Muslim Student Followers of the Imam’s Line stormed the United States Embassy in Tehran and took 63 American hostages. Three more hostages were taken at the Iranian foreign ministry the same day.

In this committee, you will represent high-ranking members of the United States federal government who must work to safely return all the hostages to the US. You will debate the ethics and consequences of American involvement in foreign affairs, and members of President Carter’s cabinet will attempt to preserve his image through the upcoming presidential race against the former Governor of California, Ronald Reagan.

Over the course of the weekend, you will be challenged to find realistic solutions to a highly complex crisis while maintaining the reputation of your character and of the United States. We’re looking forward to it!

Background guide


Chair: Zachary Zemmel

Hey, I’m Zachary!

I’m a junior at Fieldston, and I’ll be one of your co-chairs for EthicalMUN III. I love Model UN, and I’ve been a member of Fieldston’s MUN club since my freshman year (which was also the first year of Ethical MUN). At that first conference, I co-chaired the United States Senate Subcommittee on Race Relations. Furthermore, last year, Cal and I co-chaired the FIFA Crisis Committee. Outside of MUN, I co-founded Fieldston’s mock trial club, I play bass and guitar in Fieldston’s concert jazz band and a separate band outside of Fieldston, I’m part of Fieldston’s science research program, and I’m a middle-distance runner on our school’s track and field team. I think this committee will be really enjoyable, and I can’t wait to see you all this coming weekend!

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Chair: Calvin Gelernt

Hey, I’m Cal! I am currently a junior, and I came to Fieldston in ninth grade. I’ve been doing Model UN since then. Before I came to Fieldston, I went to a small school called Manhattan Country School. Last year, I chaired a committee with Zachary on ethics in FIFA and as a freshman, I was on the crisis staff for a committee on the Syrian Civil War. I am very interested in history, government, and politics. I follow the news closely and love watching historical and political documentaries. I also love sports and I am on the varsity tennis team at Fieldston. Aside from Model UN, I participate in Mock Trial and write for the Fieldston News.


Crisis Director: Isabella Ramos

Hi all! I’m Isabella and I’m a freshman at Fieldston. I’ve been doing Model UN since seventh grade and this will be my first year running a committee. I am really excited to be a part of the crisis staff for this committee. I was in Zachary and Calvin’s committee at EthicalMUN last year as a delegate, and I am looking forward to working with them this year! Besides MUN, I also play guitar, am on a swim team, and I enjoy creative writing. I am so excited to be a part of this committee! (P.S. Make your crisis notes fun and interesting and they’ll have a better chance of passing.)


Crisis director: kevin he

Hey, I’m Kevin! I’m currently a freshman at Fieldston. I’ll be on the crisis staff for this committee. This is my first year in the Fieldston Model UN Club, but I’ve already grown to love it. Outside of school, I enjoy competing in various sports, playing music, and exploring new places. I love playing basketball, frisbee, and fencing épée. Additionally, I play tenor saxophone for our school’s jazz ensemble band. I think EthicalMUN III will be a great conference!


Crisis Director: Morium begum

Hi, I’m Morium! I’m a freshman at Fieldston, and during the upcoming weekend, I will be part of the crisis staff for the Iran Hostage Crisis Committee. My job will be to make your lives a million times harder! I'm kidding, but as part of the crisis staff, I am in charge of coming up with new challenges for you to conquer. More importantly, I will be the person in charge of passing your crisis notes and orders, so make sure to make your attempted murders interesting (or else they’re not passing.) I have been in MUN since 7th grade, and I’ve loved it the whole time. Outside of MUN, I run on Fieldston’s track team, I’m part of the Asian Affinity group, and I’m a master procrastinator. I can't wait to meet all of you, and I’m looking forward to a great conference!