Legislation & Lobbying
Will Iran hostages be compensated? Hit movie ‘Argo’ brought attention to their plight
Posted May 10, 2013 5:35 AM CDT
By Debra Cassens Weiss
The American hostages who spent 444 days in Iran until their release 32 years ago have never been able to collect damages in court under the Algiers Accords that won their freedom.
But they may be able finally to collect substantial compensation if Congress passes a bill that would pay reparations from fines on companies that do business with Iran, the New York Times reports. Individual compensation under pending legislation is $4.4 million each to the hostages or their heirs. Thirty-nine of the 52 hostages are still alive.
An “odd combination of circumstances” has brought increasing attention to the hostages, the Times says. They include the hit film Argo, which told of the escape of six U.S. Embassy co-workers who avoided being taken hostage, and the slaying of the U.S. ambassador to Libya in Benghazi.
“Predicting what Congress will do is always hard,” the Times says, “but the hostages appear to have some prospect of success in what is probably a last-ditch bid for reparations.”