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Rubio, Padilla Bill To Award Congressional Gold Medals To Iran Hostage Crisis Victims Passes Senate

Dec 7, 2022 | Press Releases

The U.S. Senate unanimously passed the Iran Hostages Congressional Gold Medal Act to award a Congressional Gold Medal, the highest award that Congress can bestow, to the 52 Americans who endured 444 days held in captivity by agents of the Islamic regime in Iran. The bills now head to the U.S. House of Representatives. 
U.S. Senators Marco Rubio (R-FL) and Alex Padilla (D-CA), the authors of the bill, applauded the passage.

  • “The 52 Americans, including three Floridians, who were held hostage for more than a year in Tehran suffered greatly at the hands of an evil regime. Their experience is a bitter reminder of the true nature of the Iranian regime, which continues to take American citizens hostage to this day. I’m glad to see this bipartisan effort to pay homage to these men and women move forward. I hope our colleagues in the House of Representatives will quickly pass the bill.”  — Senator Rubio
  • “The bravery of these American heroes must be remembered forever. Through 444 days of inhumane brutality these patriots never broke. Their unwavering commitment to democracy deserves Congress’ highest civilian honor. Awarding the Congressional Gold Medal to the Americans held captive during the 1979 Iranian Hostage Crisis is a long overdue honor.” — Senator Padilla

Background. On November 4, 1979, 52 Americans were taken hostage from the U.S. Embassy in Iran by militant supporters of the Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini in violation of international law. For the next 444 days, they were subjected to intense physical and psychological torture, including mock executions, beatings, solitary confinement, and inhumane living conditions. Despite abuses designed to break their spirits and faith in democracy, the hostages stood resolute and refused to denounce or sign fraudulent statements condemning the United States.