United States President, Jimmy Carter, says Canada performed a heroic act by smuggling six U.S. Embassy staff members out of Iran on Sunday (27 January).
GV: U.S. Embassy staff members on platform at news conference as photographers take-pictures
SCU: Embassy official Robert G. Anders talking in English and newsmen take notes. (5 shots)
ANDERS: "As you already know, the government of Canada and its representatives in Teheran made it possible for us to avoid capture and to eventually leave Iran. When the embassy was overrun on November four, five of us were working in the consular section at the rear of the embassy compound some distance from the chancery where the main attack was centred. Thus we were able to leave the premises unobserved. We made our way to our homes, or the homes of friends. As the situation became more intense, we were able to move to Canadian premises where we remained in hiding. Most of our days were spent following events in the world.
We had no contact with Washington,e except to send word through the Canadians that we were safe and well. We avidly read newspapers and listened to overseas radio broadcasts. Also, during the course of the three months we played Scrabble to the point where some of us could identify the letter on the front by the shape of the grain on the back of the tile. On behalf of those remaining in Teheran, we thank you for all that has been done. We will now join you in these continuing efforts in doing everything possible to assure the return of the fifty hostages in the compound and of our three colleagues in the Foreign Ministry.
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Background: United States President, Jimmy Carter, says Canada performed a heroic act by smuggling six U.S. Embassy staff members out of Iran on Sunday (27 January). President Carter telephoned the Canadian Prime Minister, Joe Clark, to say the Canadian Embassy officials in Teheran and the Prime Minister himself had shown "great personal and political courage" during the secret operation. President Carter said he and Mr. Clark had been in constant communication since the American hostages were taken three months ago.
SYNOPSIS: On Friday (1 February) the six U.S. Embassy staff who escaped after sheltering in the Canadian Embassy for three months, released a statement at a news conference in Washington. Reporters were not allowed to ask questions. But one of the six, Robert Anders, read out a statement on behalf of the group thanking Canada for its help in smuggling the staff members out of Iran.