Text: H.Con.Res.209 — 111th Congress (2009-2010)All Information (Except Text)

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Referred in Senate (11/09/2009)

1st Session
H. CON. RES. 209


November 9, 2009

Received and referred to the Committee on Foreign Relations


Recognizing the 30th anniversary of the Iranian hostage crisis, during which 52 United States citizens were held hostage for 444 days from November 4, 1979, to January 20, 1981, and for other purposes.

    Whereas, in the face of internal political upheaval in Iran, the United States Government maintained a diplomatic presence in Tehran following the fall of Shah Mohammed Reza Pahlavi in January 1979, and sought to engage the new provisional government of Prime Minister Mehdi Bazargan;

    Whereas, on November 4, 1979, Iranian militants scaled the walls of the United States Embassy in Tehran and took 63 United States citizens and diplomats hostage;

    Whereas three more United States citizens were taken prisoner at the Iranian Foreign Ministry, for a total of 66 hostages;

    Whereas the occupiers bound and blindfolded the embassy staff and military personnel and paraded them in front of photographers;

    Whereas a total of 52 United States citizens were held hostage for 444 days until January 20, 1981, in isolated and under psychologically intimidating and onerous conditions;

    Whereas Iranian militants violated the principle of diplomatic immunity and United States sovereignty;

    Whereas Ayatollah Khomeini endorsed the seizure of the United States Embassy and detention of United States hostages and toppled the Bazargan government, instructing that no Iranian officials hold discussions with United States representatives;

    Whereas the Soviet Union vetoed United States initiatives at the United Nations Security Council to impose collective economic sanctions on Iran;

    Whereas the United States broke off diplomatic relations with Iran on April 7, 1980, following unsuccessful diplomatic efforts to free the hostages;

    Whereas, on April 24, 1980, the United States launched Operation Eagle Claw, a high-risk rescue operation to free the hostages;

    Whereas the rescue mission was aborted when three helicopters malfunctioned;

    Whereas the following United States military personnel from the all-volunteer Joint Special Operations Group lost their lives and three more were injured in the Great Salt Desert near Tabas, Iran, on April 25, 1980, in the aborted attempt to rescue the United States hostages—

    (1) Capt. Richard L. Bakke, 34, Long Beach, CA, Air Force;

    (2) Sgt. John D. Harvey, 21, Roanoke, VA, Marine Corps;

    (3) Cpl. George N. Holmes, Jr., 22 Pine Bluff, AR, Marine Corps;

    (4) Staff Sgt. Dewey L. Johnson, 32, Jacksonville, NC, Marine Corps;

    (5) Capt. Harold L. Lewis, 35, Mansfield, CT, Air Force;

    (6) Tech. Sgt. Joel C. Mayo, 34, Bonifay, FL, Air Force;

    (7) Capt. Lynn D. McIntosh, 33, Valdosta, GA, Air Force; and

    (8) Capt. Charles T. McMillan II, 28, Corrytown, TN, Air Force;

    Whereas the Algerian Government brokered a January 19, 1981, agreement between Iran and the United States, to which the United States agreed, under duress, resulting in the release of the hostages on January 20, 1981;

    Whereas President Reagan asked former President Carter to welcome the released hostages at Rhein-Mein Air Base; and

    Whereas the Iranian Government’s commemoration of the 30th anniversary of the Iranian hostage crisis was met with street protests against the repressive Iranian regime: Now, therefore, be it

Resolved by the House of Representatives (the Senate concurring), That Congress—

(1) recognizes the 30th anniversary of the Iranian hostage crisis, during which 52 United States citizens were held hostage for 444 days;

(2) honors the sacrifice and service of the United States diplomats and military personnel held hostage and servicemen who lost their lives and were wounded in a valiant attempt to free the United States hostages;

(3) in recognition of this sacrifice, hopes that the people of the United States and Iran may embark on a new relationship that fully reflects their most noble aspirations for life and liberty;

(4) expresses its support for all Iranian citizens who embrace the values of freedom, human rights, civil liberties, and rule of law; and

(5) urges the Secretary of State to make every effort to assist United States citizens held hostage in Iran at any time during the period beginning on November 4, 1979, and ending on January 20, 1981, and their survivors in matters of compensation related to such citizens’ detention.

Passed the House of Representatives November 7, 2009.

    Attest: lorraine c. miller,   

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