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Canadian diplomat who sheltered Americans in Iran dies

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. The Associated Press
Saturday, January 5, 2013 - 5:00 pm

TORONTO — John Sheardown, a former Canadian diplomat who hid fugitive American Embassy staffers during the 1979 Iran hostage crisis, has died. He was 88.

His wife Zena said Saturday that Sheardown passed away in an Ottawa hospital on Dec. 30. She says he had been treated for Alzheimer's disease for the past four years but also suffered from other ailments.

Sheardown played a key role in the events depicted in Ben Affleck's Oscar-contender film "Argo," although he was not portrayed in the film because of time constraints.

Sheardown, the second-ranking diplomat in the Canadian Embassy in Tehran, housed four American Embassy employees in his home for more than 2 1/2 months during the hostage crisis. Two other American diplomats hid in the home of the Canadian ambassador, Ken Taylor, until their rescue by a fake film crew.