US Embassy bombing victims for hefty compensation
The bill was signed into law by the US President Barack Obama last Friday and Victims of the 1998 bombings in Nairobi Kenya are also lined up for compensation.
The legislation also aimed at compensating American hostages held in Iran, and as per the legislation, the victims are set to pocket home up to 4.4 million US dollars’ compensation each from the US government.
International news agencies reported 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. The huge ‘omnibus’ spending amounting to 1.1 trillion US dollars also provides for compensation for victims of other statesponsored terror attacks, including the 1983 bombings in Beirut, Lebanon.
According to the law, Americans taken hostage at the US embassy in Tehran in 1979 will also receive compensation. In 1979; some 53 Americans were taken hostage after students stormed the US Embassy in Tehran, beginning a 444-day standoff that gripped the nation and contributed to former President Carter’s 1980 election loss.
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.
Senator Johnny Isakson (RGa.) had 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 Duffy (RWis.) and Gerry Connolly (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 US sanctions.
Their ordeal gripped fellow Americans back home, and the hostage crisis ruptured Washington- Tehran relations that had already frayed with the beginning of the Iranian revolution.
Because the agreement that freed the hostages in January 1981 barred them from collecting restitution from the Iranian government, the victims spent decades unsuccessfully pursuing claims.
In April, the issue became a sticking point with lawmakers opposed to the Obama administration’s nuclear deal with Iran. The lawmakers took up the charge on behalf of the victims, putting forth several bills and amendments aimed at winning them compensation.