USF Hosts Former Iranian Hostage

The conversation with former U.S. Ambassador Jonathan Limbert falls on the 33rd anniversary of the Iranian Hostage Crisis.


From USF News

TAMPA, Fla. (Oct. 29, 2012) – Jonathan Limbert, one of 52 Americans held hostage in the U.S. Embassy in Tehran in 1979 for 444 days, will discuss his experiences as a hostage, a career diplomat and an educator in a wide-ranging discussion from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m., Monday, Nov.5 at the University of South Florida’s Patel Center for Global Solutions.

Limbert will be hosted by USF’s Center for Strategic and Diplomatic Studies on the 33rd anniversary of the embassy takeover, an event which continues to reverberate in current times. In his conversation with Mohsen Milani, executive director of USF World’s Center for Strategic and Diplomatic Studies, Limbert will discuss his imprisonment and his 34-year career in the U.S. Foreign Service, as well as the path forward for the U.S., Iran and the wider region.

“He is an important speaker to hear from given the current issues with Iran and the tenuous situation in the Middle East,” Milani said. “In one person you have a former hostage, a scholar, a diplomatic and a thinker. He can bring a valuable and insightful personal dimension to a critical event in American history. He is also exceptionally qualified to talk about what is happening in Iran and the greater Middle East today.

“With the release of the movie Argo, there is a renewed public interest about the Iranian hostage crisis and therefore Ambassador Limbert’s visit to the campus is timely.”

Limbert, a prolific writer who is fluent in Persian, Arabic and French, served as Deputy Assistant Secretary responsible for Iranian affairs in the U.S. State Department from 2009 to 2010. He holds the Class of 1955 Chair of Middle Eastern Studies at the U.S. Naval Academy and has been awarded the Department of State’s Award of Valor, its highest honor. He served as ambassador to Mauritania from 2000 to 2003.

For more information on the event, visit or contact Eddie Aikins at

The event is free and open to the public. Parking for the event is also free in Lots 23 A, B and T. The Patel Center for Global Solutions is located at 1710 USF Maple Dr.