In France, the exiled Iranian religious leader, Ayatollah Khomeini, on Thursday (18 January) rejected President Carter's appeal to give the new Iranian government of Prime Minister Chapur Bakhtiar a chance to succeed.
GV House outside Paris occupied by the Iranian Moslem leader Ayatollah Khomeini
MV Policemen standing guard outside house
MV Banner on side of marquee
MV Ayatollah Khomeini walking up steps entering marquee
MV Ayatollah's aide, Dr. Asfahain Sadegh Ghotberzadeh, makes press statement in English
MV Iranian Regency Council representative, Mr. Syed Jalal-Eddin Tehrani, walking through Paris Airport terminal being questioned by newsmen (in French)
GHOTBERZADEH: "Mr. Carter, and the other governments, in order to have the stability and calm...the stability in the region, and the calm in Iran, should refrain from interfering in the internal affairs of Iran. And, in that case, the stability and the calm will regain Iran. And, secondly, the legality, or illegality of the Iranian government is the affair of the Iranian people. And, thirdly, that Mr. Carter's pledge to not interfere in the Iranian affairs, I hope, I mean, he hopes, that this will not be followed by action."
FRENCH REPORTER: (in French): "Channel One in france, TFN, if you please. Well you be meeting with the Ayatollah?"
AMERICAN REPORTER: "Can you tell us what you plan to say in your meeting?"
FRENCH REPORTER: (in French): "Are you the President of the Regency Council?"
TEHRANI: "No, not yet."
FRENCH REPORTER: "Is it you who has been charged with the duty of contacting the Ayatollah Khomeini?"
TEHRANI: "No. Not yet."
FRENCH REPORTER: "Will you be staying a long while in France?"
TEHRANI: "No. I am going to my home in Brussels. I am going to Brussels."
FRENCH REPORTER: "Will you try to get in touch with Ayatollah Khomeini?"
TEHRANI: "Not yet."
REPORTER: "Will you try?"
TEHRANI: "Not yet."
REPORTER: "In English, could you tell us what....?"
TEHRANI: "I do not speak English."
Reuters news agency reported on Thursday that the Ayatollah's aides in France said Mr. Tehrani would resign from the Regency Council and throw his weight behind the Ayatollah. The aides ruled out any possibility of his meeting with the religious leader, but said later he would be received if he did, in fact, resign. Mr. Tehrani, a veteran former minister and ambassador, was reputed to have close links with the clergy of the Ayatollah's Shi-ite Moslems. Meanwhile, in an interview on French television on Thursday, Prime Minister Chapur Bakhtiar insisted he would not hand control to the Ayatollah, but said he could return to Iran from exile. Ayatollah Khomeini, he said, was an eminent personality who could come back, but that was his own decision. Mr. Bakhtiar said he would not give up his position to the Ayatollah, who would not give up his position to Mr. Bakhtiar.
Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved
Background: In France, the exiled Iranian religious leader, Ayatollah Khomeini, on Thursday (18 January) rejected President Carter's appeal to give the new Iranian government of Prime Minister Chapur Bakhtiar a chance to succeed. Reuters news agency reported that the Ayatollah said stability would return to strife-torn Iran only if the super powers did not interfere in his country's internal affairs. Meanwhile, Iran's Regency Council, standing in as head of state during the Shah's absence reportedly sent a member, Syed Jalal-Eddin Tehrani, to Paris on Thursday to try to talk to the Ayatollah and defuse the growing crisis.
SYNOPSIS: From this house at Neauphle-le-Chateau, near Paris, the Ayatollah has been stoking Islamic revolutionary fervour in Iran. Millions were expected to march in towns and cities throughout the country on Friday (19 January) to hail the Ayatollah, and demand that the Shah never return. He announced the creation of two committees designed to tighten his grip on the oil-rich and strategically vital state. One of the Ayatollah's aides, Dr. Asfahain Sadegh Ghotberzadeh, read a news statement.