Iranian Prime Minister Mohammad Rajai announced on Wednesday (22 October) that he believed the United States was ready to meet Iran's basic conditions for the release of the 52 American hostages, held in Iran for nearly a year.
SCU Iranian Prime Minister Mohammad Rajai speaking in Farsi with pressmen looking on. (3 SHOTS)
CU PULL BACK SB Islamic mediator in the Iran/Iraq war Mr. Habib Chatti.
SCU Dr. Kurt Waldheim, Secretary-General of the United Nations General Assembly speaking in English.
SV Journalist asking question.
SCU Waldheim speaking.
WALDHEIM:"Unfortunately I have to say that I expect a long drawn-out war, a war of attrition. Both sides are no ready to accept the decisions of the Security Council. For instance, Iran wishes first the withdrawal of the Iraqi forces. And Iraq let us know that they are not ready to do that. So we have to expect a continuation of that unfortunate war. Of course we do our best, the Security Council and I personally start negotiations but in the light of the talks ahead with the Prime Minister of Iran and the Foreign Minister of Iraq in those last days, I don't think we can expect an early solution of the conflict."
REPORTER:"What it the connection with the affair of the American hostages in Iran?"
WALDHEIM:"The Prime Minister of Iran, Mr. Rajai, told me that he expects an early solution of the problem -- an early decision of the problem, by the Majlis, the Iranian parliament. I hope that the will be done. The Prime Minister repeated this information in his press conference and I have indeed the impression that the Iranians are now interested to settle the matter in the near future. But of course, we have seen so many disappointments and frustrations in this matter, and therefore I think we have to wait and see whether this really means the settlement of the problem in the near future."
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Background: Iranian Prime Minister Mohammad Rajai announced on Wednesday (22 October) that he believed the United States was ready to meet Iran's basic conditions for the release of the 52 American hostages, held in Iran for nearly a year. But the Iranian parliament did not discuss the issue on Wednesday (22 October) as scheduled. While the Americans are offered some hope, Islamic Conference Secretary-General Habib Chatti left Teheran the same day with doubt surrounding the prospects for this proposals to send a delegation of Moslem states to warring Iran and Iraq to arrange a cease-fire. Iran's conditions for any peace talks or action rested on the complete withdrawal of Iraqi troops from Iranian territory.
SYNOPSIS: Returning from New York on Tuesday (21 October), Mr. Rajai rebuffed President Carter's offer to free Iranian assets and resume normal trade in return for the hostages. But next day, after meeting Ayatollah Khomeini, all was changed.
But Mr. Chatti, after a three-day stay in Teheran and a twenty minute meeting with Mr. Rajai on Wednesday (22 October) left without much hope. In New York, United Nations Secretary-General Kurt Waldheim too was pessimistic.