After militants attacked the U.S. Embassy in Tehran in November 1979, Marine Sergeant Rodney "Rocky" Sickmann spent 444 days in captivity in Iran, as did scores of other Americans, before he was released in January 1981.
Today, Sickmann tells Here & Now's Robin Young that he distrusts the motives of the Iranian government and doesn't believe they'll hold up their end of the interim nuclear deal made with the U.S. and five other countries.
Interview Highlights: Rodney Sickmann
On other hostages who have spoken out in favor of the interim deal
“To me, Iran, they’re masters at negotiating and extending negotiations and all of a sudden, they stretch it out and that president leaves. Why should we give anything more when it’s a country where the radical mullahs teach the young to hate the ‘Great Satan,’ which is America, and hate Israel?”
On the Algiers Accords, which blocks the hostages from suing Iran
“We were tied for the first 30 days. We were locked in a room for 400 days. I went outside seven times out of 444 days. Mock firing squads, Russian roulette were a never ending situation. From November 4 to January 20th, there was a gun pointed toward us. And yes, there was a gathering of hostages that wanted to sue Iran. And you know what? We went to court for years. Iran wasn’t there, but our Department of Defense and state basically came and stated that the hostages cannot sue due to the Algiers Accord. That hurt, Robin. That’s like someone raping you of your freedom and I come in, and I know the person that did it to you and I say, ‘Hey judge, you can’t do that. We signed an agreement five minutes before he let her go that you can’t sue him.’”
On why Iran should first be punished for past transgressions
“Iran must be held accountable first for what they did … and then, show the rest of the world, this is our template — if you attack an American embassy, we will hunt you down. It might take 34 years, but we will make you pay. And then you will never do that again, and if you do, the next time anybody steps foot over that line of that American embassy, should leave in a body bag, if not brought over responsibly.”
- Rodney "Rocky" Sickmann, Marine sergeant who was a hostage in Iran.
This segment aired on November 27, 2013.
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