• Short Summary

    Iran and the United States appeared to move further apart on the hostage issue over the weekend (27 & 28 December 1980) following events and remarks in both countries.

  • Description

    TV of large crowd of demonstrators chanting in Teheran (2 shots)

    SV Jalaledi Farsi, representative of Islamic Republican Party, addressing crowd (2 shots)

    GV INTERIOR of crowd chanting to Ayatollah Khomeini on raised platform and CU Khomeini

    SVs PAN hostages



    Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved

    Background: Iran and the United States appeared to move further apart on the hostage issue over the weekend (27 & 28 December 1980) following events and remarks in both countries.

    In Teheran, a religious rally demanded a deadline be set for US acceptance of Iranian demands for the release of the hostages, held in captivity for over 420 days. The demand coincided with the release of an official document, said to be President Carter's tacit approval of Iranian demands before Iran made an extra demand of 24 billion dollars.

    The American President-elect, Ronald Reagan, announced on Sunday (28 December) that he wouldn't "pay such a ransom for people.......kidnapped by barbarians".

    SYNOPSIS: Large crowds flocked to the centre of Teheran on Sunday (28 December) to take part in a religious rally Hopes for an early settlement of the hostage crisis faded with a resolution passed by the rally. It called for the Majlis (Iranian parliament) to fix a deadline for US acceptance of Iran's conditions for freeing the American hostages, otherwise they would be put on trial. A representative of Islamic Republican Party, the dominant group in the Majlis, Jalaledi Farsi, told the rally America had threatened to punish Iran because of the hostage crisis. He suggested that punishment would be in the form of military action against Iranian shipping and cities.

    Observers believe Iran and the United States were close to agreement before Iran declared that it wanted some 24 billion dollars to guarantee its demands.

    According to documents published in Teheran by the official news agency, Pars, President Carter had given his word that demands would be met. But the Iranian religious leader, Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, made a sharp attack on Mr Carter's reliability. The Ayatollah compared Mr Carter's human rights record with that of a former Soviet Union leader, Joseph Stalin. Western diplomats are interpreting the latest events in the hostage issue as an increasingly important factor in Iranian domestic politics. They believe there are serious divisions between hardline Moslem clergymen and moderate lay politicians on how best to hurry along the sluggish hostage negotiations.

    For the hostages, seen here during a Christmas meeting, the wait continues. But the battle for their release seems to be entering a new phase. The war of words intensified over the weekend with US President-elect, Ronald Reagan, calling the hostage takers "barbarians". The Majlis speaker, Hojatoleslam Hashemi Rafsanjani, countered on Monday (29 December) by labelling the US leaders "thugs" and "bloodsuckers".

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