Re: Yahoo News (AFP) 12/24/15US Iran hostages compensated decades after ordeal
Washington - The 53 Americans taken hostage in Iran in 1979 will finally get financial compensation that had eluded them for decades, after US lawmakers included a payment provision in sweeping spending legislation.
The men and women taken hostage by militant Iranian student groups at the US embassy and who spent 444 days in captivity will be given restitution of up to $4.4 million each, or $10,000 for each day they were held.
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.But when a US judge this year ordered France's largest bank, BNP Paribas, to pay $8.9 billion in fines to settle violations of US sanctions linked to Iran, funding for terrorism victims finally became available.
"It's been a long arduous, epic struggle," attorney Thomas Lankford, who represents nearly all of the hostages and relatives, told AFP on Thursday, explaining that the funding will come from the penalties paid by companies that violated sanctions and conducted illegal business with Iran, North Korea, Syria and other nations.
"I would never have dreamed, when I became involved in this effort in 1999, that I would spend 16 years at it, honestly," he said. "As we got farther and farther away from the incident, it became subordinate to policy and personalities, and that explains why it didn't happen."
Lankford said a similar agreement in last year's spending bill fell through. This year's success was in large part due to efforts by supporters like top Senate Democrat Harry Reid and Republican Senator Johnny Isakson.
$10.000 per day payments leaves many wishing they had been hostages too.
53 X 4,400,000 = 223,300,000
8,900,000,000 - 223,300,000 = 8,676,700,000
C'est la divvy.