Bernie Sanders backed a party that supported Iran during hostage crisis
January 27, 2020
In April 1979, Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini took over Iran; months later 52 American diplomats and citizens, as well as citizens of other nations, were kidnapped and held hostage for 444 days in the US Embassy in Tehran.
While a majority of Americans stood firmly for the hostages and against their kidnappers, the Socialist Workers Party (SWP), a self-proclaimed Trotskyist revolutionary party, took the opposite position and insisted that the hostages were CIA agents, according to the Daily Beast.
In 1977, Presidential candidate Bernie Sanders left the tiny left-wing Liberty Union Party of Vermont that he’d co-founded and began to align himself with the SWP in 1980, serving as their presidential elector in Vermont, advocating for the party’s candidates who ran on a platform that defended Iran’s keeping the hostages, the website reported. At a rally, SWP’s presidential candidate Andrew Pulley condemned “anti-Iranian hysteria around the US hostages.”
Pulley often condemned “[US President Jimmy] Carter’s war drive against the Iranian people,” claiming that the US “was on the brink of war with Iran,” according to the Daily Beast. He also said that the war’s aim would be “to protect the oil and banking interests of the Rockefellers and other billionaires.”
On May 21, 1981, Sanders spoke at a Pulley rally saying: “For the last 40 years the Socialist Workers Party has… been harassed, informed upon, had their offices broken into, had members of their party fired from their jobs, and have been treated with cold contempt by the United States government,” the report said.
The Sanders campaign did not respond to the Daily Beast’s request for comment.