Iran's Ayatollah Khomeini has reaffirmed his stand on the American hostages being held in Teheran.?
SV: French delegation with crowd chanting and walking around delegation (white and blue)(2 shots)
SV: Women with pictures of Khomeini chanting
SV AND CU: Khomeini on rooftop waving to crowd...with revolutionary guard directing masses. (3 shots)
SV: Crowd waving and chanting on Balcony. (4 shots)
SCU: Minister arriving at Khomeini's residence
SV: Khomeini surrounded by followers walks across road to follow minister into building.
SV: French delegation leaving(3 shots)
Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved
Background: Iran's Ayatollah Khomeini has reaffirmed his stand on the American hostages being held in Teheran. He says will be a trial, either against the Shah if he returns or the hostages if he doesn't. The Ayatollah left little doubt about his determination during a meeting on Saturday (22 December) with a group of French parliamentarians.
SYNOPSIS: The three member French-delegation called on Ayatollah Khomeini at his home in the holy city of Qom. the Parliamentarian Brigitte Gros, Nicolas About and Pierre Alexandre were representing both the French Senate and Lower House. Their official visit was made amid the now familiar demonstrations of support for the Iranian Leader.
The French delegates brought with them a message from the people of Neauphle Le Chateau, the village near Paris where Ayatollah Khomeini lived in exile. The iranian leader received the message but made it clear there'd be no softening in his attitude. Thee would be a trial he said, either of the Shah or the hostages.
While there may be little hope of an early release for the hostages, the Ayatollah is allowing them a Christmas Day visit from a group of Christian clergymen. He's told the Revolutionary council a number of responsible and committed clergymen must be allowed into the American Embassy so the hostages can observer religious ceremonies in complete peace. There's one stipulation...black clergymen will be given preference.
Iran's Foreign Minister Sadaq Qotbzadeh was present at the meeting with the French delegation. Twenty-four hours later he met in Teheran with former Irish foreign Minister Sean Macbride. Mr Macbride, who's tried one before to negotiate an end to the crisis came out of the meeting saying he wasn't optimistic of an early solution. A Nobel Peace Prize winner, Mr Macbride said if anything he thought things now were worse than before.
The French visit also ended without the promise of an early settlement.