The "Canadian Caper" was the popular name given to the joint covert rescue by the Canadian government and the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) of six American diplomats who had evaded capture during the seizure of the United States embassy in Tehran, Iran, and taking of embassy personnel as hostages by Islamist students and militants on November 4, 1979.
The "caper" involved CIA agents (Tony Mendez and a man known as "Julio") joining the six diplomats to form a fake film crew made up of six Canadians, one Irishman and one Latin American who were finished scouting for an appropriate location to shoot a scene for the notional science-fiction film Argo. The ruse was carried off on the morning of Monday, January 28, 1980, at the Mehrabad Airport in Tehran. The eight Americans successfully boarded a Swissair flight to Zurich and escaped Iran. The Academy Award winning 2012 film Argo is a fictionalized cinematic representation which has been criticized for its historical inaccuracies in depicting the operation.