Radcliffe Alumna May Be Held Hostage By Students at U.S. Embassy in Iran

A Radcliffe alumna may be one of two women still held hostage by Iranian students in the U.S. Embassy in Tehran.

U.S. State Department officials yesterday refused to confirm or deny that Elizabeth A. Swift '62, a senior foreign services officer stationed in Tehran is one of the 49 remaining hostages in the U.S. Embassy in Iran.

The Swift family in Washington D.C. yesterday refused to comment on the matter. "Her family is utterly terrified and feels she is in great danger," a person close to the family said yesterday.

Islamic militants at the embassy said they would release black and women hostages "whose espionage has not been proved," and freed 13 last week. Friends and former classmates of Swift said yesterday they believe the students decided not to free her because of her high-ranking position in the embassy. State department officials refused to identify Swift's position in the office, but a former roommate said yesterday that Swift has been stationed overseas for several years.

Swift, a former Cabot Hall resident, graduated cum laude in history, but "was always interested in government," a close friend said yesterday, adding. "she was not wildly political."


A native of Washington D.C., Swift attended The Madiera School in Greenway, Va., and after coming to Radcliffe, joined the Young Democrats of Harvard-Radcliffe, the precursor of the Harvard-Radcliffe Democratic Club.

Followers of the Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini have been holding hostages at the embassy since November 4. They are demanding the extradition of the deposed Shah Reza Pahlavi, currently receiving medical treatment in New York.