Senator introduces legislation to compensate hostages held in Iran

Updated:

Col. Chuck Scott, 81, was one of the the 52 held in the 1979 Iran hostage crisis. He has sued over the incident twice and failed.

ATLANTA - It's been more than three decades, but the memories are still raw for a local colonel who was held captive in Iran.

“We didn't call ourselves heroes. We were at the wrong place at the wrong time,” Col. Chuck Scott told Channel 2’s Lori Geary.

Scott, 81, was one of the 52 hostages held in Iran for 444 days.

“I was hung by my wrists for three days, and they beat on me,” he said.

Scott and the 51 others have sued over the incident twice and failed. Under an agreement called the Algiers Accords, the hostages were freed but barred from suing Iran.

“These people were nasty.  The fact that they got away with it, there ought to be a cost.  So far, there hasn't been any,” Scott said.

But now, Hollywood is giving them new hope.

“Because of the movie 'Argo,' we have a tremendous amount of momentum,” Scott said.

The Academy Award-winning film tells the story of six United States embassy employees who escaped from Iran, and it’s generating a lot of publicity about the Iran hostage crisis.

“It touched my heart. We had three Georgians involved. I'm now in a place I can do something about it,” Senator Johnny Isakson said.

The Georgia senator has introduced legislation that he believes would properly compensate the victims after all these years without using taxpayer dollars.

“I want to see to it that wrong is righted. Since we have a flow of money for people that have violated Iran sanctions, there's no better place for it to go than the victims of the Iranian hostage terrorist takeover,” Isakson said.

“It's still going to send the message to Iran that taking hostages is dangerous, and there's a cost involved,” he added.

Scott said that message is more important than the money.

“I don't need money now. It's too damn late,” he said.

And with the time that has elapsed, who can blame him for being skeptical?

“We have been screwed so many times that I really won't believe (it) until they start sending the checks,” Scott said.

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