• Mr. Speaker, November 4th marks the anniversary of an important date in U.S.-Iranian relations.
  • On this date in 1979, only a few months after the Shah was deposed and the radical, anti-American, Islamist Ayatollah Khomeini was placed in power, a group of young Islamic revolutionaries made their anger with the United States known to the world.
  • The group stormed the U.S. Embassy in Tehran and took over 60 American hostages. The revolutionaries were angry about President Carter's decision to allow the recently ousted Shah into the U.S. for cancer treatment and general American interference in their affairs.
  • Hostages were blindfolded, bound, beaten, sometimes tortured, subjected to solitary confinement and unsanitary conditions, and even underwent mock executions.
  • Richard Morefield, the Consul General of the U.S. Embassy in Tehran recounted that he was subjected to three mock executions, the first being on his second night in captivity.
  • He was awakened in the middle of the night, herded into a van with other hostages, driven somewhere, dragged into a shower room, seated on a bench, and made to think he would die there and then.
  • Al Golacinski, John Limbert, and Rick Kupke were also subjected to mock executions. They too were awakened in the middle of the night, forced to remove their clothing, blindfolded and marched into a basement where the callous guards made it seem they were about to be executed by firing squad. The guards pulled their triggers to their unloaded weapons and laughed.
  • These hostages lived in emotional and physical turmoil for 444 days.
  • Though 13 of the hostages were released after a short time, diplomatic means to free the rest of the hostages failed. President Carter tried to build pressure through economic sanctions and frozen assets.
  • Then, Ronald Reagan was elected president. Minutes after his inauguration, the Iranians freed the remaining hostages.
  • This event left a lasting impression on American foreign policy.
  • Sanctions that began as a result of the Iranian hostage crisis increased over 36 years as Iran built up its illegal nuclear weapons program, conducted terrorist attacks against innocent civilians around the world, and violated the human rights of its own people.
  • That is until President Obama decided to ease sanctions on this enemy nation as part of a disastrous new ``deal.'' On this November 4, 36 years after the start of the hostage crisis , we have not forgotten. And, we have not forgiven.
  • And that's just the way it is.