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By James A. Lyons Jr.
The president has shifted alliance from friend to enemy
Topic - Tony Mendez
The former Canadian ambassador to Iran who protected Americans at great personal risk during the 1979 Iran hostage crisis said Monday it was good to hear Ben Affleck thank Canada after Affleck's film "Argo" won the Oscar for best picture.
The scene: Tehran's Mehrabad airport, January 1980. Six U.S. diplomats, disguised as a fake sci-fi film crew, are about to fly to freedom with their CIA escorts. But suddenly there's a moment of panic in what had been a smooth trip through the airport.
The situation was dire. Unbearably tense. Three months after the late-1979 takeover of the U.S. Embassy in Tehran by Iranian revolutionaries, six American diplomats who had secretly escaped the compound were attempting to flee the country.
As the CIA's leading disguise specialists, husband and wife Tony and Jonna Mendez spent decades creating false identities for America's undercover agents. Since retiring from the agency in the early 1990s, however, the two have worked to unmask their longtime profession — putting a human face on America's spies while providing a rare public look into the opaque world of intelligence.
"He saluted me with a Bloody Mary," he said.
"He said, 'The last time I went to the airport with you, you know what happened,' " Mr. Mendez said.