January 20th marks the 43rd anniversary of the release of 52 U.S. Embassy employees who were taken hostage for 444 days by Iranian militants
Congress previously agreed to compensate these hostages via the United States Victims of State Sponsored Terrorism (USVSST) Fund, but after more than four decades many former hostages and their families have only received a fraction—as little as 25%–of the payment they were promised
Next week, Senator Reverend Warnock will introduce bipartisan legislation to finally fully compensate these former hostages and their families
Senator Reverend Warnock’s work to fully compensate these victims and their families carries on Senator Johnny Isakson’s decades of bipartisan leadership on this issue
Senator Reverend Warnock: “We have a chance to right this wrong and fully compensate these individuals for the hardships they endured for their country”
Washington, D.C. – Today, ahead of the 43rd anniversary of the January 20, 1981 release of 52 U.S. Embassy employees held hostage by Iran, U.S. Senator Reverend Raphael Warnock (D-GA) announced plans to introduce new bipartisan legislation to recognize the former hostages and their horrific experience, and recommit the nation to honoring its promise to fully compensate the former hostages and their families.
Next week, Senator Warnock will introduce the bipartisan Justice for Former American Hostages in Iran Act of 2024 alongside Senator J.D. Vance (R-OH). The legislation will complete the payments Congress previously authorized to the former hostages and their families through the U.S. Victims of State Sponsored Terrorism (USVSST) Fund. Despite being one of the oldest and eldest claimants within the USVSST Fund, after waiting for more than four decades the former Iran hostages have only received a fraction—as little as 25%–of their promised payment.
“On this 43rd anniversary of the release of Iran-held hostages, we’re reminded of our government’s broken promise to these patriotic Americans and their families,” said Senator Reverend Warnock. “We have a chance to right this wrong and fully compensate these individuals for the hardships they endured for their country. I’m proud to carry the baton of Senator Johnny Isakson’s tireless work by introducing bipartisan legislation to finally bring justice to these victims.”
In December 2022, Senator Warnock secured an amendment in the Fiscal Year 2023 government funding bill to distribute additional long-promised funding to Americans taken captive in the Iran Hostage Crisis, as well as their families and their descendants. Approximately $3 billion was deposited into the general USVSST Fund and will be distributed on a pro-rata basis to all eligible American victims of terrorism, including Iran hostages, their families, and their descendants. However, due to the large and growing number of eligible victims of state-sponsored terrorism, this funding will not be enough to fully compensate the Iran hostages and their families. Senators Warnock and Vance plan to introduce the bipartisan Justice for Former American Hostages in Iran Act of 2024 in the coming week.