Office of the Spokesperson
The Department of State released today Foreign Relations of the United States, 1977–1980, Volume XI, Part 1, Iran: Hostage Crisis, November 1979–September 1980.
This volume is part of a Foreign Relations subseries that documents the foreign policy decisions of the administration of President Jimmy Carter. The volume documents the Carter administration’s efforts to resolve the U.S.-Iranian crisis over the taking of U.S. hostages in Tehran. The absence of direct diplomatic communications between the United States and Iran during this period compelled the Carter administration to rely on a variety of official and unofficial intermediaries in its attempts to negotiate the release of the hostages. The administration considered and pursued a variety of diplomatic and economic strategies intended to convince the Iranian Government that it should take steps to end the crisis and secure the return of the hostages. Such moves included negotiations regarding the former Shah of Iran and his presence in the United States and other countries. The volume also documents Carter administration officials’ consideration of military pressure strategies, while they concurrently developed operational plans to rescue the hostages. Lack of success in the negotiation efforts led President Carter to authorize a military rescue mission in April 1980. The volume documents the rescue operation’s failure to free the hostages, as well as the Carter team’s handling of the mission aftermath and their continued work to achieve a resolution to the hostage crisis. The volume concludes in early September 1980, when Iran seated a new government and several leading Iranian officials publicly suggested their readiness to end the hostage crisis.
This volume was compiled and edited by Linda Qaimmaqami. The volume and this press release are available on the Office of the Historian website at https://history.state.gov/historicaldocuments/frus1977-80v11p1. Copies of the volume will be available for purchase from the U.S. Government Publishing Office online at http://bookstore.gpo.gov (GPO S/N 044-000-02703-8; ISBN 978-0-16-095831-1 ), or by calling toll-free 1-866-512-1800 (D.C. area 202-512-1800). For further information, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Remarks for the Monaco Blue InitiativeBy Sam NewsApril 23, 2021John Kerry, Special [Read More…]
- Defense Infrastructure: Documentation Lacking to Fully Support How DOD Determined Specifications for the Landstuhl Replacement Medical CenterBy Sam NewsAugust 24, 2021What GAO FoundDepartment of Defense (DOD) officials considered current beneficiary population data, contingency operations, and most of the expected changes in troop strength when planning for the replacement medical center. However, recently announced posture changes in January 2012 have yet to be assessed for their impact on the facility. DOD estimates that the replacement medical center will provide health care for nearly 250,000 beneficiaries. A majority of those who are expected to receive health care from the center come from within a 55-mile radius of the facility. DOD officials told us that because the replacement medical center was designed for peacetime operationswith the capacity to expand to meet the needs of contingency operationsreductions in ongoing contingency operations in Afghanistan would not have an impact on facility requirements. At the time of this review, DOD officials said they were in the process of assessing proposed changes in posture to better understand their possible impact on the sizing of the replacement medical center.DOD officials incorporated patient quality of care standards as well as environmentally friendly design elements in determining facility requirements for the replacement medical center. DOD also determined the size of the facility based on its projected patient workload. Internal control standards require the creation and maintenance of adequate documentation, which should be clear and readily available for examination to inform decision making. However, GAOs review of the documentation DOD provided in support of its facility requirements showed (1) inconsistencies in how DOD applied projected patient workload data and planning criteria to determine the appropriate size for individual medical departments, (2) some areas where the documentation did not clearly demonstrate how planners applied criteria to generate requirements, and (3) calculation errors throughout. Without clear documentation of key analysesincluding information on how adjustments to facility requirements were madeand without correct calculations, stakeholders and decision makers lack reasonable assurances that the replacement medical center will be appropriately sized to meet the needs of the expected beneficiary population in Europe.DODs process for developing the approximately $1.2 billion cost estimate for the replacement medical center was substantially consistent with many cost estimating best practices, such as cross-checking major cost elements to confirm similar results. However, DOD minimally documented the data sources, calculations, and estimating methodologies it used in developing the cost estimate. Additionally, DOD anticipates that the new facility will become the hub of a larger medical-services-related campus, for which neither cost estimates nor time frames have yet been developed. Without a cost estimate for the facility that includes detailed documentation, DOD cannot fully demonstrate that the proposed replacement medical center will provide adequate health care capacity at the current estimated cost. Further, DOD and Congress may not have the information they need to make fully informed decisions about the facility.Why GAO Did This StudyLandstuhl Regional Medical Center (LRMC) is DODs only tertiary medical center in Europe that provides specialized care for servicemembers, retirees, and their dependents. Wounded servicemembers requiring critical care are medically evacuated from overseas operations to the 86th Medical Group clinic at Ramstein Air Base to receive stabilization care before being transported to LRMC for intensive care. According to DOD, both facilities were constructed in the 1950s and are undersized to meet current and projected workload requirements. DOD plans to consolidate both facilities into a single medical center at an estimated cost of $1.2 billion. In this report, GAO (1) describes how DOD considered changes in posture and the beneficiary population when developing facility requirements, (2) assesses DODs process for determining facility requirements, and (3) reviews DODs process to develop the facilitys cost estimate. GAO examined posture planning documentation, beneficiary demographic data, plans for the replacement medical center, and relevant DOD guidance, as well as interviewed relevant DOD officials.[Read More…]
- Terrorist Attacks in NigerBy Sam NewsMarch 24, 2021Ned Price, Department [Read More…]
- Defense Infrastructure: Overseas Master Plans Are Improving, but DOD Needs to Provide Congress Additional Information about the Military Buildup on GuamBy Sam NewsAugust 25, 2021Over the next several years, implementation of the Department of Defense's (DOD) Integrated Global Presence and Basing Strategy will result in the realignment of U.S. forces and the construction of new facilities costing billions of dollars at installations overseas. The Senate and House reports accompanying the fiscal year 2004 military construction appropriation bill directed GAO to monitor DOD's overseas master plans and to provide congressional defense committees with assessments each year. The Senate report accompanying the fiscal year 2007 military construction appropriation bill directed GAO to review DOD's master planning effort for Guam as part of these annual reviews. This report, first, examines how the overseas plans have changed and the extent to which they address the challenges faced by DOD and, second, assesses the status of DOD's planning effort and the challenges associated with the buildup of military forces and infrastructure on Guam.The fiscal year 2008 overseas master plans, which provide infrastructure requirements at U.S. military facilities in each of the overseas regional commands' area of responsibility, have been updated to reflect U.S. overseas defense basing strategies and requirements as well as GAO's prior recommendations for improving the plans. The plans also address DOD's challenges to a greater extent than they did in previous years. However, two areas continue to be of concern. First, the master plans do not address the issue of residual value--that is, the value of property being turned over to the host nation based on its reuse of property. Although DOD officials believe that residual value cannot be readily predicted and therefore should not be in the master plans, compensation received for U.S capital improvements at installations returned to host nations could affect U.S. funding requirements for overseas construction. Second, the master plan for PACOM, which provides details on the command's training limitations in Japan and several other challenges, does not provide details regarding training limitations for the Air Force in South Korea, which could cause the United States to pursue alternatives, such as training in other locations, downsizing, or relocating that could affect overseas basing plans. Without addressing the residual value issue and providing details on these training challenges, DOD cannot provide Congress a comprehensive view enabling it to make informed decisions regarding funding. GAO has previously recommended that overseas regional commands address residual value issues and that PACOM explain how it plans to address existing training limitations. Because these recommendations have not been fully addressed, GAO considers them to be open and believes that they still have merit. DOD's planning effort for the buildup of military forces and infrastructure on Guam is in its initial stages, with many key decisions and challenges yet to be addressed. Among the challenges to be addressed is completing the required environmental impact statement, initiated in March 2007. According to DOD officials, this statement and associated record of decision could take up to 3 years to complete and will affect many of the key decisions on the exact location, size, and makeup of the military infrastructure development--decisions needed to develop a master plan for the military buildup on Guam. DOD and the services are still determining the exact size and makeup of the forces to be moved to Guam, needed in order to identify the housing, operational, quality of life, and services support infrastructure required for the Marine Corps realignment and the other services' buildup. DOD officials said that additional time is needed to fully address other challenges associated with the Guam military buildup, including funding requirements, operational requirements, and community impact. Until the environmental assessment and initial planning efforts are completed, Congress will need to be kept abreast of developments and challenges affecting infrastructure and funding decisions to make appropriate funding and oversight decisions.[Read More…]
- Former Cancer Center President Indicted For Participation In Long-Running Antitrust ConspiracyBy Sam NewsSeptember 24, 2020A federal grand jury returned an indictment against Dr. William Harwin, founder and former President of Florida Cancer Specialists & Research Institute LLC (FCS), for conspiring to allocate medical and radiation oncology treatments for patients in Southwest Florida, the Department of Justice announced today.[Read More…]
- Secretary Pompeo’s Call with Japanese Foreign Minister MotegiBy Sam NewsDecember 17, 2020
- Sanctioning Iranian Intelligence Officers Involved in the Abduction of Bob LevinsonBy Sam NewsDecember 14, 2020
- Financial Audit: Bureau of the Fiscal Service’s FY 2020 Schedules of the General FundBy Sam NewsApril 15, 2021What GAO Found Deficiencies in internal control over financial reporting and other limitations on the scope of GAO's work resulted in conditions that prevented GAO from expressing an opinion on the Schedules of the General Fund as of and for the fiscal year ended September 30, 2020. Such scope limitations also prevented GAO from obtaining sufficient appropriate audit evidence to provide a basis for an opinion on the effectiveness of the Bureau of the Fiscal Service's (Fiscal Service) internal control over financial reporting relevant to the Schedules of the General Fund as of September 30, 2020. In addition, such scope limitations limited tests of compliance with selected provisions of applicable laws, regulations, contracts, and grant agreements for fiscal year 2020. Fiscal Service was unable to readily provide sufficient appropriate evidence to support certain information reported in the accompanying Schedules of the General Fund. Specifically, Fiscal Service was unable to readily (1) identify and trace General Fund transactions to determine whether they were complete and properly recorded in the correct general ledger accounts and line items within the Schedules of the General Fund and (2) provide documentation to support the account attributes assigned to Treasury Account Symbols that determine how transactions are reported in the Schedules of the General Fund. The resulting scope limitations, the first of which GAO reported in its fiscal year 2018 audit, are the basis for GAO's disclaimer of opinion on the Schedules of the General Fund. As a result of these limitations, GAO cautions that amounts Fiscal Service reported in the Schedules of the General Fund and related notes may not be reliable. Three significant deficiencies in Fiscal Service's internal control over financial reporting relevant to the Schedules of the General Fund, which GAO reported in its fiscal year 2018 audit, continue to exist. One of the continuing significant deficiencies contributed to the first scope limitation discussed above. In addition, GAO identified four other control deficiencies, three newly identified and one reported in its fiscal year 2018 audit, which GAO does not consider to be material weaknesses or significant deficiencies. Fiscal Service worked extensively, both internally and with other federal agencies, to address two scope limitations from GAO's fiscal year 2018 audit, such that GAO no longer considers these to be scope limitations for fiscal year 2020. Fiscal Service also (1) took action to close six of the 12 recommendations that GAO issued as a result of its fiscal year 2018 audit, (2) is implementing plans for remediating the remaining six recommendations over the next few years, and (3) plans to develop corrective actions for the three new recommendations issued in this report. Fiscal Service expressed its commitment to remediating the scope limitations and significant deficiencies reported for fiscal year 2020, acknowledging that it expects to take several years to resolve them, given the nature and complexity of certain identified issues. In addition, GAO is issuing a separate LIMITED OFFICIAL USE ONLY report on information systems controls. Why GAO Did This Study Because GAO audits the consolidated financial statements of the U.S. government and the significance of the General Fund of the United States (General Fund) to the government-wide financial statements, GAO audited the fiscal year 2020 Schedules of the General Fund to determine whether, in all material respects, (1) the schedules are fairly presented and (2) Fiscal Service management maintained effective internal control over financial reporting relevant to the Schedules of the General Fund. Further, GAO tested compliance with selected provisions of laws, regulations, contracts, and grant agreements related to the Schedules of the General Fund. As the reporting entity responsible for accounting for the cash activity of the U.S. government, in fiscal year 2020, the General Fund reported over $23 trillion of cash inflows and nearly $22 trillion of cash outflows. It also reported a budget deficit of $3.1 trillion, the largest recorded federal deficit in history. The CARES Act, enacted in March 2020, and other COVID-19 pandemic relief laws, contained a number of funding provisions that resulted in a significant increase in the cash activity and budget deficit reported by the General Fund during fiscal year 2020.[Read More…]
- Joint Statement on the Occasion of a Trilateral Discussion among Afghanistan, Tajikistan and the United StatesBy Sam NewsMarch 19, 2021
- Lebanon National DayBy Sam NewsNovember 22, 2020
- FY 2020 Request for Concept Notes for NGO Programs Benefiting Refugees, Displaced Iraqis, and Other Vulnerable Populations in Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon, and TurkeyBy Sam NewsSeptember 27, 2020Bureau of Population, [Read More…]
- What is Judicial Impartiality? Judges Explain How They Apply the LawBy Sam NewsIn U.S CourtsSeptember 14, 2021How do federal judges have an impact on individual rights every day, even for people who may never enter a courtroom? Ten federal judges answer the question in the new video “Court Shorts: A Fair and Impartial Judiciary,” produced in celebration of Constitution Day, on Sept. 17, discussing their commitment to impartiality, the Constitution, and the rule of law.[Read More…]
- United States Sanctions Two Hizballah OfficialsBy Sam NewsOctober 22, 2020
- Kazakhstan Travel AdvisoryBy Sam NewsIn TravelSeptember 26, 2020Do not travel to [Read More…]
- CITGO Petroleum Corp. Will Pay Over $19 Million for Injuries to Natural Resources Resulting from its Oil Spill at its Refinery in Lake Charles, LouisianaBy Sam NewsJune 17, 2021Houston, Texas-based CITGO Petroleum Corporation has agreed to pay $19.69 million to resolve federal and state claims for natural resource damages under the Oil Pollution Act and the Louisiana Oil Spill Prevention and Response Act.[Read More…]
- 2020 Indo-Pacific Business Forum Promotes Free and Open Indo-PacificBy Sam NewsOctober 30, 2020
- U.S. Public Diplomacy: State Department and the Broadcasting Board of Governors Expand Efforts in the Middle East but Face Significant ChallengesBy Sam NewsAugust 25, 2021The terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, were a dramatic reminder of the importance of our need to cultivate a better public opinion of the United States abroad. Yet recent opinion research indicates that foreign publics, especially in countries with large Muslim populations, view the United States unfavorably. GAO issued two studies in 2003 that examined changes in U.S. public diplomacy resources and programs since September 11 within the State Department (State) and the Broadcasting Board of Governors (BBG); the U.S. government's strategies for its public diplomacy programs and how it measures their effectiveness; and the challenges that remain in executing U.S. public diplomacy efforts. Although the studies did not focus exclusively on the Middle East, they identified systemic problems that would apply to public diplomacy activities there.Since September 11, State has expanded its public diplomacy efforts in Muslim-majority countries considered to be of strategic importance in the war on terrorism. It significantly increased resources in South Asia and the Near East and launched new initiatives targeting broader, younger audiences--particularly in predominantly Muslim countries. Also since September 11, the BBG has initiated several new programs focused on attracting larger audiences in priority markets, including Radio Sawa and Arabic language television in the Middle East, the Afghanistan Radio Network, and Radio Farda in Iran. State and BBG have increased their efforts to support the war on terrorism. However, State does not have a strategy that integrates all of its diverse public diplomacy activities and directs them toward common objectives. In addition, we found that while the BBG did have a strategic plan, the plan lacked a long-term strategic goal or related program objective to gauge the Board's success in increasing audience size, the key focus of its plan. Furthermore, there is no interagency strategy to guide State's, BBG's, and all federal agencies' communication efforts and thus ensure consistent messages to overseas audiences. In addition to strategy deficiencies, we found that State and the BBG were not systematically and comprehensively measuring progress toward the goals of reaching broader audiences and increasing publics' understanding about the United States. In addition to weaknesses in planning and performance measurement, State and BBG face several internal challenges in carrying out their programs. Challenges at State include insufficient public diplomacy resources and a lack of officers with foreign language proficiency. The BBG also faces a number of media market, organizational, and resource challenges that may hamper its efforts to generate large audiences in priority markets.[Read More…]
- Aviation Sanitation: FDA Could Better Communicate with Airlines to Encourage Voluntary Construction Inspections of Aircraft Galleys and LavatoriesBy Sam NewsSeptember 8, 2020Most commercial aircraft undergo voluntary inspections to ensure that galleys and lavatories are constructed and assembled to meet the Food and Drug Administration's (FDA) sanitation standards, according to industry representatives. Twenty-seven percent of the inspections FDA conducted between fiscal years 2015 and 2019 found objectionable conditions. But in nearly all of these instances, the conditions identified, such as the need for additional sealant in areas where there was a gap or seam, were corrected by the airline or aircraft manufacturer during the inspection. However, some regional airline representatives told GAO that their aircraft do not receive these construction inspections, either because larger airlines with which they have contracts told them the inspections were unnecessary or because they did not believe the inspections were relevant to them. FDA provides these inspections free of charge, upon request of aircraft manufacturers or airlines, and aircraft passing inspection receive a certificate of sanitary construction. Representatives of one aircraft manufacturer said they view the certificate as beneficial because their customers see it as a guarantee that the aircraft was constructed in a way that decreases the likelihood of microbial contamination, pests, and insects. While the construction inspections are important, they are not required, and FDA does not proactively encourage airlines to request them. By developing a process for communicating directly to all U.S.-based commercial airlines, including regional airlines, to encourage them to receive construction inspections, FDA could better ensure that aircraft meet FDA sanitation standards to protect passenger health. An Airline Representative Applying Additional Sealant in Response to an FDA Inspection FDA faces several challenges in providing construction inspections and is taking steps to address these challenges. For example, the demand for inspections by manufacturers and airlines is unpredictable, and FDA inspectors are responsible for inspections at multiple locations. To help mitigate these challenges, officials we interviewed from four FDA field offices said they usually request advance notice from industry to allow the agency time to allocate the necessary resources for construction inspections. Voluntary construction inspections are the primary mechanism by which FDA oversees compliance with its required sanitation standards for the construction of aircraft galleys and lavatories. A report accompanying the House 2019 Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration, and Related Agencies Appropriations bill included a provision for GAO to review FDA's process for ensuring proper sanitation in aircraft galleys and lavatories. This report (1) examines the extent to which aircraft are inspected to ensure compliance with FDA's sanitation standards, and (2) discusses challenges FDA faces in providing aircraft inspections and how FDA is addressing such challenges. GAO reviewed FDA guidance, interviewed FDA officials in headquarters and four selected field offices with high volumes of construction inspections, conducted site visits to meet with FDA inspectors, and interviewed representatives of selected aircraft manufacturers and airlines. GAO recommends that FDA develop a process for communicating directly with all U.S.-based commercial airlines to encourage them to request construction inspections. FDA generally agreed with our recommendation. For more information, contact Steve Morris (202) 512-3841 MorrisS@gao.gov.[Read More…]
- Financial Services Industry: Factors Affecting Careers for Women with STEM DegreesBy Sam NewsJune 16, 2021What GAO Found Several factors affect women's participation in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) degree programs and subsequent careers in the financial services industry, according to research and stakeholders GAO interviewed. These factors include young girls' early exposure to STEM topics, access to resources such as computers and high-speed internet, and a sense of whether they belong in STEM degree programs. Women's interest in a financial services career also may be affected by the presence of role models and awareness of job opportunities. In recent years, women have represented roughly 30 percent of financial services industry workers with STEM degrees (see figure). Financial Services Industry Workers with Degrees in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) by Gender, Fiscal Years 2014-2019 To encourage elementary and high school girls to learn about STEM, selected financial services firms provide funding and other support to nonprofit organizations that focus on increasing girls' participation in STEM. With this support, nonprofit organizations introduce girls to coding, basic programming, and other activities that may inspire interest in STEM education. Similarly, to encourage college women to pursue STEM degrees, selected firms sponsor conferences for women in STEM, offer scholarships to women studying STEM, and work with nonprofit organizations to help increase students' awareness of careers in the financial services industry. Selected financial services firms recruit women with STEM degrees by collaborating with organizations that work with women STEM majors and sponsoring conferences for women in technology, among other efforts. Some firms have employee retention practices that are tailored to women with STEM expertise. For example, selected firms offer leadership training or employee resource groups for women in technology. Why GAO Did This Study The financial services industry is highly dependent on technology and more than one-fifth of industry employees have STEM degrees. Women continue to be underrepresented in management positions in the financial services industry and in STEM degree programs. As a result, some financial services firms have made efforts to promote interest among women in both STEM and financial services. GAO was asked to review factors affecting financial services careers for women with STEM degrees. This report examines (1) factors that affect the participation of women in STEM degree programs and subsequent participation in financial services careers, (2) how selected financial services firms encourage girls and women to participate in STEM education programs, and (3) how selected financial services firms recruit and retain women with STEM backgrounds. GAO analyzed Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) and Department of Education data from 2014 through 2018 and Census Bureau data from 2014 through 2019. At the time of analysis, these were the most recent data available. GAO also reviewed studies on financial services and STEM education. GAO interviewed representatives of financial services firms, industry associations, and nonprofit organizations. GAO selected organizations and representatives based on their participation in previous work and a literature review. EEOC and the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System provided technical comments on a draft that GAO incorporated as appropriate. For more information, contact Alicia Puente Cackley at (202) 512-8678 or CackleyA@gao.gov.[Read More…]
- Former Louisiana Police Officer Indicted for Assaulting an ArresteeBy Sam NewsApril 29, 2021A federal grand jury in Shreveport, Louisiana, returned an indictment charging a former Shreveport police officer with assaulting an arrestee in Caddo Parish.[Read More…]