Cynthia Dwyer, the 53rd hostage, returned to the United States and the embraces of her husband and three children today after nine months in Iran, where she had been imprisoned and tried on espionage charges.
Dwyer and the couple's children greeted the freelance writer at the arrival gate at Kennedy International Airport after her Swissair flight from Zurich landed this afternoon.
Clutching a bouquet of daffodils and smiling, Dwyer told reporters she was happy to be home and that her espionage conviction was "complete nonsence."
"They wanted to grab a spy and i was a very convenient person to grab," she said. "They just wanted to say to the people that they had found a spy."
She kissed her husband and children at the request of photographers and John Dwyer said, "I would also like to thank God for giving my wife and us the strength to get through this ordeal."
Dwyer shook her head and added, "I'm so thankful."
Arriving back home on the second anniversary of the Islamic revolution, Dwyer said she hoped to return to Iran someday and learned a "very great deal" during her imprisonment.
"I learned how to pray again," she said. "I learned how much I missed my husband and children. I learned how valuable our Constitution is and how valuable the separation of church and state is. I also learned that there are good human beings wherever you go."
Asked about reports she had been set up by a Khomeini undercover group that enlisted her in a bogus attempt to rescue five American hostages, Dwyer said, "I met somebody who talked to me in general terms. As a reporter I was trying to figure out what happened." She would not elaborate.
One reporter asked her about statements from her acquaintances in the Buffalo, N.Y., area that she was "a woman in search of a cause" and "a female Don Quixote."
"Good heavens. I just got off a plane," she said laughing. Her husband, chairman of the English department at the State University of New York at Buffalo, jokingly said he considered her "a Don Quixote."
Dwyer went to Iran last April to write about the Iranian revolution as a sympathizer of the new regime, but was arrested May 5 following the aborted U.S. hostage rescue attempt. She spent nine months in Tehran's notorious Evin prison on espionage charges.
Last Sunday she was convicted of spying for the CIA and ordered expelled.