It has been just about five months since the 52 American hostages were released by the Khomeini regime. The Reagan administration is trying to get a Supreme Court ruling quickly that would pave the way for taking the second major financial step called for by the release agreement -- transfer of some $2.2 billion in frozen Iranian assets held in American banks to two accounts, one a $1 billion fund to pay off Americans with claims against Iran, and the remainder to an account controlled by the Tehran government.
The June 9 Federal Register (page 30483) contains a reminder that another part of the hostage agreement has yet to be fulfilled. That's the implied understanding the U.S. government had with the hostages that they would get some sort of financial compensation for their 14 months of captivity. w
The release agreement assured the Iranians that they would not be liable to any future lawsuits from the hostages. To balance off that step, President Carter on Jan. 19 signed an executive order that established the President's Commission on Hostage Compensation, which was to report back in 90 days on the question of whether compensation should be paid, and if so, how much.
The Register notice is of another executive order, this one by President Reagan, amending the Carter order by extending the date for the commission's report until Aug. 20, and giving it authority to "conduct public hearings to identify critical issues and possible solutions related to compensation."
It seems that the Reagan administration never got around to appointing the commission members until last week, according to James S. Dwight, the man the president put in as chairman, and it still hasn't had its first organizational meeting.