- The Washington Times - Thursday, December 24, 2015

American diplomats who were held hostage in Iran for 444 days more than three decades ago will finally receive compensation for their time in captivity.

A provision in the spending bill signed by President Obama last week will give up to $4.4 million to each of the 37 surviving hostages or the estates of 16 other who died in the years since their release, The Washington Post reported.

That averages out to $10,000 for each day of their captivity. However, the money will not be paid by Iran, but comes, in part, from a $9 billion penalty paid by the French bank PNB Paribas for violating sanctions against Iran, Cuba and Sudan. The U.S. Treasury will appropriate 

“Iran is not paying the money, but it’s as close as you can get,” said Thomas Lankford, an attorney who represented the former hostages and their families in a lengthy legal battle with the U.S., The Post reported.

The compensation provides some closure for the hostages held in the U.S. Embassy in Tehran between November 1979 and January 1981.

The law also authorizes payments of $60,000 for each close relative of the hostages.

The settlement also provides benefits for victims of other terrorist attacks, including the 1998 U.S. Embassy bombings in East Africa and the 9/11 attacks, The Post reported.

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