ARGO's Inspiration Tony Mendez to Appear on Tonight's CBS EVENING NEWS
Tony Mendez, the retired CIA spy who inspired the Academy Award-winning film "Argo," discusses the film's Oscar win and describes the undercover mission to rescue six Americans from Iran. The report will be broadcast tonight, Feb. 26 on the CBS EVENING NEWS with Scott Pelley (6:30-7:00 PM, ET) on the CBS Television Network.
In 1997, Mendez revealed the rescue mission for the first time in an interview with CBS News National Security Correspondent David Martin. In tonight's report, Mendez, who was portrayed by Ben Affleck in "Argo," tells Martin about his experience at the Oscars this weekend and provides insight on the fake production he used as a cover in 1980 to smuggle six Americans out of Iran.
"It's like robbing banks, except in our case, we had to make it look like the money was still there," Mendez tells Martin.
Patricia Shevlin is the Executive Producer of the CBS EVENING NEWS WITH Scott Pelley.
Based on real events, the dramatic thriller Argo chronicles the life-or-death covert operation to rescue six Americans, which unfolded behind the scenes of the Iran hostage crisis, focusing on the little-known role that the CIA and Hollywood played-information that was not declassified until many years after the event. On November 4, 1979, as the Iranian revolution reaches its boiling point, militants storm the U.S. Embassy in Tehran, taking 52 Americans hostage. But, in the midst of the chaos, six Americans manage to slip away and find refuge in the home of Canadian Ambassador Ken Taylor. Knowing it is only a matter of time before the six are found out and likely killed, the Canadian and American governments ask the CIA to intervene. The CIA turns to their top "exfiltration" specialist, Tony Mendez, to come up with a plan to get the six Americans safely out of the country. A plan so incredible, it could only happen in the movies. The film won this year's Academy Award for 'Best Picture' on Sunday.