WASHINGTON – A U.S. congressman plans to introduce new legislation that would financially compensate American Embassy staffers who were taken hostage for 444 days in Tehran 34 years ago.
Representative Bruce Braley (D-Iowa) says he wants to capitalize on the publicity surrounding the film “Argo,” which depicts the 1979 hostage crisis and which won the Academy Award for best picture on February 24.
The film chronicles the taking of 52 American hostages and the plight of six who hid in the Canadian Embassy in Tehran.
Hostages in the U.S. Embassy were brutally interrogated and sometimes kept naked in freezing cells.
The bill would establish a $400 million fund financed by fines paid by companies that violate U.S. sanctions against Iran.
Braley says dozens of lawmakers have signed on to co-sponsor the bill and passage looks likely.