Iran Hostages: Efforts to Obtain Compensation [November 2, 2015]   [open pdf - 755KB]

"Even today, after the passage of some three decades, the 1979-1981 Iran Hostage Crisis remains an event familiar to most Americans. Many might be unaware that the 52 American mostly military and diplomatic personnel held hostage in Tehran for 444 days continue to strive for significant compensation for their ordeal. The former hostages and their families did receive a number of benefits under various civil service laws, and each hostage received from the U.S. government a cash payment of $50 for each day held hostage. The hostages have never received any compensation from Iran through court actions, all efforts having failed due to foreign sovereign immunity and an executive agreement known as the Algiers Accords, which bars such lawsuits. Congress took action to abrogate Iran's sovereign immunity in the case 'Roeder v. Islamic Republic of Iran', but never successfully abrogated the executive agreement, leaving the plaintiffs with jurisdiction to pursue their case but without a judicial cause of action. Having lost their bids in the courts to obtain recompense, the former hostages have turned to Congress for relief. This report outlines the history of various efforts, including legislative efforts and court cases, and describes several bills currently before Congress, the Justice for Former American Hostages in Iran Act of 2015, S. 868, a companion bill, H.R. 3338, and Section 122 of the Department of State Operations Authorization and Embassy Security Act, Fiscal Year 2016, S. 1635."

Report Number:
CRS Report for Congress, R43210
Public Domain
Retrieved From:
Federation of American Scientists: http://www.fas.org/sgp/crs/index.html
Media Type:
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