36 Years Later 53 US Embassy Hostages in Tehran Get Compensated

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US Embassy Hostage Tehran, Novembe 9, 1979

Source: AP

The Washington Post, reported that the 53 US Hostages who spent 444 days in captivity at the former US Embassy in Tehran seized by Islamic Revolutionaries in 1979 will finally receive compensation, but not from the Islamic Republic, “Americans held in Iran during 444-day hostage crisis finally get compensation:”

Compensation for American Embassy personnel held hostage for 444 days in Iran more than three decades ago was hailed on Thursday by the former captives and the lawyers who for years fought Tehran and Washington to get a measure of vindication.

A provision buried in a spending bill signed by President Obama last week will give up to $4.4 million to each of the 37 surviving hostages or the estates of 16 others who died in the years since their release. The sum works out to $10,000 for each day of their captivity and will come, in part, from a $9 billion penalty paid by the French bank BNP Paribas for violating sanctions against Iran, Cuba and Sudan.

“Iran is not paying the money, but it’s as close as you can get,” said Thomas Lankford, an attorney who represented the former hostages and their families in a lengthy battle that continued even after the courts and the U.S. government repeatedly denied their requests for restitution. Lankford called the restitution “gratifying after a long, long time.”

The financial settlement also provides potential benefits for victims of other terrorist attacks, including the 1998 U.S. Embassy bombings in East Africa and for first responders to the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks.

Great Christmas present to each of 37 I979 US Embassy hostages held for 444 days in Tehran and the estates of 16 others who passed away. Each received $4.4 million which amounts to $10,000 per day. Credit Georgia US Senator Johnny Isakson (R) who inserted an Amendment to the recent $1.1 Omnibus Spending bill on behalf of three constituents who were held hostage for 444 days by Islamic State revolutionaries at the former US Embassy in Tehran. Taxpayers need not worry. The awards decreed in federal court terrorism cases involving Iran came from a $9.0 billion Iran sanctions settlement with French bank BNP Paribas over dealings with the Islamic Republic, Cuba and the Sudan. There is possibly more coming for the estates of Marines and US diplomats killed in two 1983 bombings perpetrated by the late Hezbollah terrorist mastermind Imad Mughniyah, the 1996 Khobar Towers blast, the 1998 East African Embassies blast, the USS Cole suicide bombing in 2000, 9/11 victims and other claims filed by the families of victims of terrorism under the 1990 Counter Terrorism law and awarded by federal courts. Problem is that not a nickel has come from Iranian assets here in the US like the Alavi foundation that owns the office building at 650 Fifth Avenue in Manhattan. A 2014 settlement may have paved the way to a sale of the Fifth Avenue Building originally built in 1974 and owned by the Pahlavi Foundation of the last Shah of Iran. But at least this distribution of $1.1 billion from the BNP Paribas settlement is long overdue justice for these victims of state terrorism by Iran. More may come from receipt of additional sanctions settlement under the Amendment authored by Senator Isakson of Georgia.

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