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Iran hostages quietly granted compensation in year-end funding bill

Iran hostages quietly granted compensation in year-end funding bill
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Americans taken hostage at the U.S. embassy in Tehran in 1979 will receive compensation under the $1.1 trillion omnibus spending bill that President Obama signed into law last week.

The New York Times reports that the 53 victims of the hostage crisis or their families will get $4.4 million each under a provision that was quietly included in the legislation.

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The hostages were barred from suing Iran as part of the terms of their release, and multiple attempts by them to attain restitution in the courts or through legislation had fallen short — until now.

The Times reports that the spending bill also allocates funds for victims of other terror attacks, including the 1998 bombings at American embassies in East Africa.

In 1979, 53 Americans were taken hostage after students stormed the U.S. Embassy in Tehran, beginning a 444-day standoff that gripped the nation and contributed to former President Carter’s 1980 election loss.

This year, lawmakers took up the charge on behalf of the victims, putting forth several bills and amendments aimed at winning them compensation.

In April, the issue became a sticking point with lawmakers opposed to the Obama administration’s nuclear deal with Iran. Sen. Johnny IsaksonJohnny IsaksonLoeffler leaves door open to 2022 rematch against Warnock Perdue on potential 2022 run: GOP must regain the Senate Bottom line MORE (R-Ga.) filed amendments to Iran legislation aimed at ensuring “that resolving the issue of compensation for hostages is considered" prior to any agreement.

In July, Reps. Sean DuffySean DuffyLobbying world CNN's Ana Navarro to host Biden roundtable on making 'Trump a one-term president' Bottom line MORE (R-Wis.) and Gerry ConnollyGerald (Gerry) Edward ConnollyDemocratic fury with GOP explodes in House Connolly to GOP: I won't be lectured by those who voted to overturn the election DeJoy apologizes for mail delays while defending Postal Service changes MORE (D-Va.) teamed up on a bill that would have directed funds to the victims through fines and penalties collected on foreign companies that have violated U.S. sanctions.