Following is an account of the American Hostages' departure from the Tehran airport as reported later by the Iranian government's Pars news agency:
At 7:40 p.m. [11:10 a.m. EST], the bus carrying the hostages approached the plane on the runway. At 8 p.m. the hostages were in the process of being boarded. At 8:20 the engines of the plane ignited.
During the entire process of boarding the hostages, the staff of the Algerian Embassy in Tehran were standing around the plane watching the proceedings, as if on guard.
During the process of the boarding of the plane, slogans in English and Farsi [the Persian language] were shouted: "Allahu Akbar!" ["God is Great!"] and "Down with America!" and "Down with Reagan!" and all the while the plane was being guarded by the Islamic Revolutionary Guards.
The Prime Minister official, Ahmad Azizi, led the hostages aboard the plane, and Algerian officials are presently aboard the plane with the hostages. The Algerian ambassador is currently aboard the plane and the noise of the engines can be clearly heard. And now at 8:50 p.m. the plane has not yet left.
After 444 days the American hostages boarded the plane to leave Iran. The plane is currently moving on the runway. The hostages' plane is now taking off at 8:55 hours.
There were three planes altogether. In one plane there were the Algerian officials, in the other plane the Algerian physicians, and in the third plane the former American hostages. There is one Phantom fighter plane escorting the planes safely to Iranian borders. The Algerian ambassador to Washington and the head of the Algerian Central Bank were among the Algerian passengers.