United Stated President Jimmy Carter says his country has made steady progress in its negotiations with the Soviet Union over limiting the growth of nuclear arms.
CU U.S. President Jimmy Carter speaking to reporters at Washington news conference (THREE SHOTS)
GV reporter asking President Carter question)
CU President Carter speaking
CARTER: "Now, I've been in office now for two years and we've been negotiating with the Soviet almost full-time on a SALT agreement. Prior to that time, four additional years of negotiations were conducted with the Soviet Union. My understanding is, that prior to the time I came into office, and since I've been in office, they have negotiated in good faith. They are tough bargainers -- we are too. We have tried to evolve an agreement with the Soviet Union which would, first of all be verifiable, which would preserve the security of our nation and even enhance it, which would control nuclear weapons and which would lay a basis for increased friendship between us and the Soviet Union and let us control, or reduce, the treat of the proliferation of nuclear explosives to other nations throughout the world.
I think we and the Soviet have those goals in mind. And I hope, and expect, that our progress will continue. Now we are negotiating every day at Geneva and supplementing the negotiations through diplomatic channels, both here and in the Soviet Union."
REPORTER: "Could you say whether they have hardened their position in the last month or two?"
CARTER: "No, they have not hardened their position in the last month or two. I think their position, along with ours, have been adequately hard. We have negotiated very firmly and there has been a steady progress. There has never been one time since I've been in office when we've had a recess in the efforts, nor a retrogressive action when we were discouraged -- we've been making steady progress and we still are."
CARTER: "I don't see the shipment of pure supplies to Iran in any way as interference in the internal affairs of Iran. These are shipments of energy supplies, and I'm sure food and other goods -- to let the people of Iran have a better life -- I think are very good, constructive and proper.
We do not have any intention of interfering in the affairs of Iran, the internal affairs of their government, and we don't want any other country to do it either."
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Background: United Stated President Jimmy Carter says his country has made steady progress in its negotiations with the Soviet Union over limiting the growth of nuclear arms. President Carter told a news conference in Washington on Friday (26 January) that the Soviet Union had not hardened its position in Geneva. Earlier, it had been hoped that a new Strategic Arms Limitation Treaty (SALT) would be agreed on by December last year. But the Soviet Foreign Minister, Andrei Gromyko, raised new issues in his talks with Secretary of State, Cyrus Vance, and the outcome has been delayed. President Carter told the news conference that he would not sign a new SALT treaty -- unless it could be verified.
SYNOPSIS: President Carter also denied interfering in the internal affairs of Iran.