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MVCC presents lecture on Iranian Hostage Crisis by CIA operative portrayed in ‘Argo’

MVCC will present a first-hand account of what occurred behind the scenes of the 1970s Iranian Hostage Crisis when former CIA Technical Operations Officer Tony Mendez visits the Utica Campus for a lecture on Saturday, Jan. 26. Mendez is the focal character of the film “Argo.” Academy Award-winning actor Ben Affleck directed and portrays Mendez in the film.

“ARGO: The Iranian Hostage Crisis and the Canadian Caper, A Review of America’s First Battle in the War against Radical Islamic Terror,” with Tony Mendez, former CIA Technical Operations Officer, and Jonna Mendez, former CIA Chief of Disguise, will be presented at 7 p.m. in the Schafer Theater on the Utica campus. When the CIA needed a cover story to extract six Americans from Iran during the 1979-80 hostage crisis, Tony Mendez devised a scheme that involved a crew scouting for a movie called “ARGO.” Tony Mendez’s career with the CIA spanned 25 years as he worked undercover as Chief of Disguise and later as the Chief of the Graphics and Authentication Division. In 1980, he was awarded the Intelligence Star for Valor. Jonna Mendez served 27 years with the CIA and retired as Chief of Disguise.

In their multimedia presentation, Tony Mendez and Jonna Mendez will share personal stories, including some aspects of the crisis never before publicly released. The film, “ARGO,” will be shown after the presentation. Admission is $20 general, $10 faculty/staff, and free for MVCC students.