UANI Statement On Release Of U.S. Hostages From Iran

(New York, N.Y.) — United Against Nuclear Iran (UANI) CEO Ambassador Mark D. Wallace released the following statement today after the release of five long-held American hostages:

“UANI rejoices at the return of the five American citizens from Iran. At the same time, we are deeply troubled by this change in U.S. policy. The United States has long refused to pay ransom to hostage takers. This effectively puts the price tag on every American at $1.2 billion if taken hostage. With this hostage price premium, we expect with certainty that Iran will detain more U.S. nationals. 

“As we rejoice for the return of these five hostages, what will we say to the families when others are taken?  This should be the last instance where we pay for the return of American hostages and we should make this policy clear to Iran and other hostage takers. At a minimum, we must collectively understand the implications of this flawed U.S. policy and make real changes to mitigate the threat beginning with two clear steps: 

“First, the era of American travel to Iran must come to an end. UANI calls for an immediate ban on all U.S. citizen – including Iranian dual nationals – travel to Iran. It is clear if you travel to Iran as an Ameircan citizen you are potentially a billion dollar pawn that will be imprisoned for years. 

“Second, the U.S. and its allies must work together to substantially increase the costs for Tehran of engaging in hostage diplomacy. U.S. allies should eject Iranian diplomats from their countries, recall their ambassadors from Iran, and impose harsh measures to isolate Iran economically. The U.S., for its part, must substantially increase enforcement of its existing sanctions and lead the effort to harmonize human rights and terrorism sanctions with its allies. Every allied country should designate the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) as a terror goup.  

“Maintaining the status quo will condemn more innocent Americans to years of terror at the hands of the Iranian regime and erode policies to prevent Iran from financing global terrorism.” 

To read UANI’s resource, Hostages in Iran, please click here. 

To read UANI Senior Advisor Barry Rosen and Michael White’s op-ed in Newsweek, “We Were Hostages In Iran. The U.S. Can Prevent More Stories Like Ours,” please click here.