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Proposal calls for Iran hostages medal

Iranian student militants flank one of the 52 U.S. diplomats and staff seized during the Nov. 4, 1979, takeover of the U.S. embassy in Tehran.

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New legislation was introduced Feb. 18 in the House of Representatives to authorize a congressional gold medal honoring the former hostages of the Iran Hostage Crisis of 1979 to 1981.

H.R. 1179, introduced by Rep. Thomas Suozzo, D-N.Y., seeks the medal, intended to recognize the hostages’ “resilience throughout the unprecedented ordeal which they lived through and the national unity it produced, marking four decades since their 444 days in captivity, and recognizing their sacrifice to our country.”

The Iran hostage crisis was a diplomatic standoff between the United States and Iran.

Fifty-two American diplomats and citizens were taken hostage Nov. 4, 1979, by Iranian student militants after the U.S. Embassy in Tehran was overrun. The militants sought the return of the Shah of Iran, Mohammad Reza Pahlavi, who was overthrown in February 1979, and had gone to the U.S. for cancer treatment.

The hostages were held for 444 days from Nov. 4, 1979, to Jan. 20, 1981.

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