Former Iran Hostages: Show Us the Money

'Argo' only focuses on the good part of the story
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 25, 2013 3:00 PM CST
Former Iran Hostages: Show Us the Money
Ben Affleck poses with his award for best picture for "Argo" during at the Oscars at the Dolby Theatre on Sunday Feb. 24, 2013, in Los Angeles.   (Photo by John Shearer/Invision/AP)

In the wake of Argo's Oscar win, the National Journal reminds us that though the film focuses on the successful part of the Iranian Hostage Crisis—the six US Embassy employees that escaped—there were 52 other Americans who were held for 444 days, and they've yet to see any justice. That's because, thanks to the 1981 Algiers Accords that secured their release, they've been barred from suing Iran, unlike other hostages who have won judgments against the country and, in some cases, collected millions taken from Iran's frozen assets. That could finally change, as the former hostages are coming together to ask Congress for help.

In the massive National Journal piece, Jill Lawrence tells the hostages' harrowing stories and the numerous problems they faced upon finally returning home. She also recounts the history of the Algiers Accords; the former hostages have struggled for years to successfully sue Iran. They may finally have a solution: Now they're asking for a surcharge to be placed on the fines and penalties paid by companies that do business with Iran—thus violating US sanctions—and for that money to be put into a fund for the former hostages. Their lobbyist thinks it could come up for a vote this year, and predicts it will pass easily. Lawrence's full piece is worth a read. (More 1980 hostage crisis stories.)

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