Max Vernon Wiki
Max Vernon Biography
The chief negotiator of the metropolitan police, who saved the lives of 19 hostages on behalf of the SAS during the siege of the Iranian embassy in 1980, has died.
Chief Superintendent Max Vernon was part of a team of six that negotiated with six armed terrorists who besieged the diplomatic building in South Kensington, west London, and took 26 people hostage.
The gunmen, all Iranian Arabs fighting for sovereignty in Khuzestan province, have called for the release of Arab prisoners around the world and their safety in exchange for the handover of the hostages.
Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher refused to grant the terrorists a safe exit from Britain, and between April 30 and May 5, 1980, the world watched and waited for Vernon to begin his life-saving negotiations.
Their flowing conversations, brought to the big screen by actor Mark Strong in the 2017 movie 6 Days, gave the SAS B team time to storm the Embassy. Millions of people watched television panting.
During the 17-minute raid, the SAS rescued all but one of the remaining hostages and killed five of the six hijackers. An investigation cleared the SAS of any wrongdoing, while the only remaining gunman remained in British prisons for 27 years.
Today, Good Morning Britain host Piers Morgan paid tribute to Vernon, whose cause of death is not yet known. He tweeted: “RIP Max Vernon, chief negotiator for the police during the siege of the Iranian embassy in 1980.
Rusty Firmin, one of the SAS leaders that day, said: “Max was the real hero, he gave us enough time to plan and prepare for the hostage rescue mission. “Max was played by Mark Strong in 6 days”.
Vernon had experience of siege after being implicated on Balcombe Street five years earlier, when the IRA held two hostages for six days before surrendering.
The Met’s chief superintendent recalled: “I saw them doing business on Balcombe Street and I thought the guy who did it was doing the right thing.
“He insulted her. I don’t want a relationship with a bloody villain, but I want communication. You don’t understand if you are rude. Bargaining is a game of fencing, you cannot afford to be left behind. ”
Rusty Firman, who was a corporal in the squad, said that “the result could have been very different” without Vernons.
Firman told Spiegel: “Max Vernon was the negotiator. He kept him talking for six days and that saved us time.
“He deserves more credit than ever. Without this extra time, the result could have been very different. ”
Six gunmen stormed the West London embassy in April 1980, demanding independence for parts of southern Iran and taking 26 hostages.
After six days, they killed a hostage, prompting Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher to order the SAS to storm the building.
SAS teams, who had secretly arrived in London from their base in Hereford, carried out the rescue mission of Operation Nimrod.
Millions of viewers watched TV in awe as they threw stun grenades at the building to launch their attack.
The raid lasted only 17 minutes and all six but one gunmen were killed. A second hostage was killed by the gunmen and two others were seriously injured.
Vernon said that he was aware of the serious threat if he said the wrong thing.
He said that he was not seeking a relationship with the terrorists and added: “I hate those kinds of people for what he did. He just wanted to control the situation and communicate. ”
Another part of Mr. Vernon’s heroism during the attack was that he volunteered to carry cigarettes to the main door of the embassy to take pictures of the criminals inside.
He admitted that they could have shot him or put him on the hostage list, adding that it was not pleasant to look at the barrel of a machine gun.
With candid comments, Vernon noted the pressure that his family had escaped from him at the time.
He said that his wife turned off the television in front of her children and said: “If they kill dad, I don’t want to see him.”
Vernon was portrayed by actor Mark Strong in the 2017 film 6 Days.
In an interview with The Mail on Sunday, Vernon said his wife wanted Liam Neeson to play him in the film.
“I never thought about who I would be in a movie, even if my wife says she should be Liam Neeson.”