Iran hostages quietly granted compensation in year-end funding bill

Iran hostages quietly granted compensation in year-end funding bill
© Getty

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.

ADVERTISEMENT

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 IsaksonJohn (Johnny) Hardy IsaksonUS firm goes on lobbying blitz in fight with Angola Trump renews attacks against Tester over VA nominee on eve of Montana rally House conservatives want ethics probe into Dems' handling of Kavanaugh allegations 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 Patrick DuffyHouse votes to remove protections for gray wolves Here's how politicians celebrated Halloween Fox contributor: Warren's ancestors 'rounded up Cherokees for the Trail of Tears' MORE (R-Wis.) and Gerry ConnollyGerald (Gerry) Edward ConnollyIncoming Michigan Dem will not back Pelosi House Dems split on how to tackle climate change Overnight Energy: House Dems at odds over how to handle climate change | Trump shows support to California over wildfires | Zinke calls fires worse than Iraq war zones 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.