Iran's President, Abol Hassan Bani-Sadr, said on Thursday (27 March) that the Americans were responsible for prolonging the hostage crisis in Teheran.
27 MARCH, 1980 TEHERAN, IRAN (REUTERS TEHRAN )
GV AND SCU's: Iranian President Mr Abol Hassan Bani-Sadr speaking in Farsi with translator speaking in English in interview with Reuters reporter Tim Arlott (off camera) (6 shots)
TRANSCRIPT: ARLOTT: "You have said before you are not in favour of taking hostages. What do you see as the most likely end of the matter and when do you think it will happen?
SEQ. 1: BANI-SADR: "Since we are Moslems we believe there will be a good ending but when God only knows." However I think speed is a necessity for the revolutionary progress."
ARLOTT: "But the second stage of the elections has been put back a month. Do you still intend to leave the hostages decision to Parliament?"
BANI-SADR: "The Americans have changed their methods and it is they who are making the problems. They are not interested in freeing the hostages. I have (indistinct) through the documents for the extradition of the Shah were about to reach Panama and they caused the Shah to leave that country. The problem is not when our Majlis opens.
If the Shah is returned, if America causes the Shah to be returned, then we will free them immediately and if they obey international law then everything will be alright, but if they rely on force then it won't."
ARLOTT: "In this country the CIA, perhaps by underhand means, put the Shah into power. But that was not known by the majority of the American people. The Russians on the other hands, have poured tens of thousands of their own troops into Afghanistan, which to him seems the worse crime ?"
BANI-SADR: "Military intervention has bloodiness and can be instantly recognised but I think the American crime is the bigger crime because it has used internal agents, whereas we were close to a victory of our own. If we had, if this revolution had reached victory 25 year ago maybe then the events in Afghanistan would not have happened. And indeed many events in this part of the world, and in the Middle East would not have happened."
Background: Iran's President, Abol Hassan Bani-Sadr, said on Thursday (27 March) that the Americans were responsible for prolonging the hostage crisis in Teheran. He said that if the Shah was returned to Iran from Egypt the hostages problem would be resolved immediately.