MICHAEL R. POMPEO, SECRETARY OF STATE
Forty-one years ago today, Ayatollah Khomeini’s followers broke into the U.S. Embassy in Tehran and took more than 50 U.S. diplomats hostage. For the next 444 days, the Iranian regime tormented these brave Americans and their families who did not know if they would ever see their loved ones again. The survivors of the Iran hostage crisis embody the courage of our diplomatic corps. Today we honor the sacrifice made by these patriots and those who worked tirelessly to free them.
Even today, the Iranian regime continues to utilize the inhumane tactic of hostage-taking to advance its destructive agenda in the region and across the world. We call on Iran to release wrongfully detained U.S. citizens Morad Tahbaz and Siamak and Baquer Namazi. Iran has still not accounted for the fate of FBI agent Robert Levinson, who was abducted more than 13 years ago. But these innocent people are not the only victims of the Iranian regime’s brutality – the regime’s longest-suffering victims are the Iranian people, and they deserve better.