1981: The United States files more than $180 million in claims against Iran on behalf of 3,000 American citizens and corporations seeking compensation for losses suffered in the Iranian revolution. The money can be recovered through the Iran-United States Claims Tribunal, established at the Hague in the Netherlands under the agreement that led to the release of the 52 hostages held by Iran for 444 days until Jan. 20, 1981. Under the agreement, the U.S. released $8 billion in frozen Iranian assets, but $5.1 billion of that was set aside to pay off Iranian debts to American and European banks. An additional $1 billion in assets were still frozen. That money was to be the fund to be distributed by the claims tribunal in The Hague.
1985: Ann Weir, 24, daughter of the Rev. Benjamin Weir, a former American hostage in Lebanon, is killed when the bus she is riding in is hit by a train 12 miles south of Alexandria, Egypt. She was a teacher at Alexandria’s Schutz American School. Benjamin Weir was released on Sept. 14, 1985, after more than a year in captivity.
1987: After an 11-month investigation into the Iran-Contra, arms-for-hostages scandal orchestrated by the Reagan administration, a congressional inquiry finds that President Reagan failed to live up to his constitutional mandate to “take care that the laws be faithfully executed” and bore “the ultimate responsibility” for wrongdoing by his aides. The report blisters a “cabal of the zealots” in the administration that took control of foreign policy in key areas. Among the zealots: Lieut. Col. Oliver L. North, the former National Security Council aide; Rear Adm. John M. Poindexter, the President's former national security adviser, and William J. Casey, the former Director of Central Intelligence.
- Remembering the Iran-Contra Scandal
- What Was the Iran-Contra Scandal?
- Reagan Rogues' Gallery: Prosecutions, Convictions and Pardons
1991: British Anglican Church envoy Terry Waite and a American educator Thomas M. Sutherland, two of the longest-held hostages in Lebanon, are released by their Shiite Muslim captors. Waite was abducted in January 1987 while trying to mediate the release of other hostages. Sutherland was taken hostage in June 1985. Remaining hostages include Americans Joseph J. Cicippio, Alann Steen and Terry A. Anderson, as well as Heinrich Strubig and Thomas Kemptner of Germany.
1994: Six months after gaining autonomy in the Gaza Strip, Yasser Arafat’s Fatah-dominated police force opens fire on Palestinian protesters supportive of Hamas, the Islamic militant group, outside a mosque, triggering street battles that rage for hours. today, killing 12 people and wounding 200. Arafat’s popularity dips, especially in the Gaza Strip, where Hamas’ popularity rises.
- What Is Hamas?
- Khaled Mashall of Hamas: Profile
- What Is Fatah?
- Hamas-Israeli Conflict: A Primer
- National Conciliation Document - Palestinian Prisoners' Document, 2006
2005: Two suicide bombers wearing explosive belts kill 80 worshippers gathering for Friday prayers in two Shiite mosques in the northern Kurdish town of Khanaqin, Iraq.
2005: After a debate that featured temper tantrums and invectives, the U.S. House of Representatives votes 403-3 on a measure, introduced by U.S. Rep. John P. Murtha, the Pennsylvania Democrat, to withdraw troops from Iraq. During the debate, Jean Schmidt, an Ohio Republican and the most junior member of the House, claims that Danny Bubp, another junior Republican Ohio representative, “asked me to send Congress a message: stay the course. He also asked me to send Congressman Murtha a message: that cowards cut and run, Marines never do.” Schmidt then asked that the comment be withdrawn.