Columnist Robert L. Ehrlich Jr. errs in claiming that the American diplomats taken hostage by Iran were freed in 1979 ("Drawing insults, not fear, from our foes," March 30).
The diplomats were actually taken hostage in November of 1979 — not freed that year. They spent 444 days in captivity before finally being released on Jan. 20, 1981, the day Ronald Reagan was inaugurated as president.
Their release followed complex and lengthy negotiations between the Iranians and the administration of President Jimmy Carter. The Algerian government represented the U.S. during the negotiations because we had no diplomatic relations with Iran at that time.
Thus Mr. Ehrlich's intimation that President Reagan was responsible for the release of our diplomats is not consistent with what actually occurred during that unfortunate episode.
Charles W. Mitchell, Parkton
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