September 19, 2023
AJC CEO Ted Deutch released the following statement following the announcement of a hostage deal with Iran:
I am thrilled for the Americans who will soon be reunited with their families after so many years. As the author of the Robert Levinson Hostage Recovery and Hostage-Taking Accountability Act (2020), I welcomed the sanctions leveled by the Administration against Ahmadinejad who notoriously oversaw the political hostage-taking of many Americans and foreign nationals, including my former constituent Robert Levinson, who went missing in Iran in 2007. Iran has still not accounted for Bob’s disappearance and tragic passing. The Levinson family deserves this justice.
As I said when this possible deal was first announced, we expect that the $6 billion released to Qatar for humanitarian use in Iran will be closely monitored and we will do our part to press U.S., Qatari and other foreign officials on that point, but we unfortunately are under no illusion that the Iranian regime won’t try to use these funds to advance its dangerous and destabilizing activities instead of helping the Iranian people. Despite these concerns, we should all agree that the return of Americans wrongfully held must be welcomed. And we must stand together against Iranian aggression, its support for terror, its human rights abuses, and its dangerous pursuit of nuclear weapons.