News Releases

ATLANTA – In advance of the 40th anniversary of the Iran hostage crisis, U.S. Senators Johnny Isakson, R-Ga., Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn., and Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., introduced a bipartisan resolution recognizing today, Monday, Nov. 4, 2019, as a national day of remembrance.

“The victims of the Iran hostage crisis were treated brutally, and their suffering and sacrifice should be remembered,” said Isakson. “Similarly, this resolution and our continued efforts on behalf of the victims are an important statement that once an American serves our country, we will be there for you no matter how long it takes to secure justice. On the anniversary of their capture, we pay tribute to these brave Americans who were held hostage in Iran during service to the United States.”

“For 444 days, victims of the Iran hostage crisis suffered unspeakable horror and fear as they waited to be freed. Then they fought for more than three decades after that to receive the restitution they deserve,” said Blumenthal. “This bipartisan resolution honors the bravery and tenacity this group showed, first in service to our country, and then in their relentless pursuit for justice.”

“For many victims of the Iran hostage crisis and their families, 40 years has done little to ease the pain and trauma caused by those events,” said Leahy. “On this anniversary, we must remember the grave injustices these victims suffered as a result of serving our country, and recommit ourselves to providing them with some measure of justice. We also must not forget the plight of Americans who have been taken hostage and tortured by Iran since the Iran hostage crisis, all of whom deserve the unwavering support of the United States government.”

On Nov. 4, 1979, 66 United States diplomats, military personnel, and civilians were taken hostage from the U.S. Embassy in Tehran by the government of the Islamic Republic of Iran. By Nov. 20, 1979, 13 hostages were released, and an attempt to rescue the remaining hostages resulted in the death of eight U.S. service members on April 25, 1980. Another American hostage was released on July 11, 1980, after 250 days in captivity.

On Jan. 20, 1981, the remaining 52 hostages were released after 444 days in captivity. However, their personal pain and anguish continued. Many of the hostages were terrorized and subjected to torture while held captive.

In coordination with colleagues and after years of work on behalf of the victims, Isakson and Blumenthal provided an opportunity for many of the hostages to seek compensation for their time in captivity through the creation of the U.S. Victims of State Sponsored Terrorism Fund.

Full text of the resolution, introduced in the Senate on Oct. 31, can be found here.

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