The United Nations security Council has voted to give Iran until January 7 to agree to free the hostages captured in the United States Embassy, or face possible economic sanctions.
SV INTERIOR Decorated Christmas tree inside U.S. Embassy in Teheran and decorated room (2 shots)
SV TILT DOWN FROM U.S. clergyman on piano TO hostages singing carols
SV Hostage reading religious passage
SV PULL OUT TO GV Clergyman asks hostages to stand up, and they join hands for prayers
SV Clergyman embraces hostages
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Background: The United Nations security Council has voted to give Iran until January 7 to agree to free the hostages captured in the United States Embassy, or face possible economic sanctions. As the Council was voting, members of iran's ruling Revolutionary Council were meeting the Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini in the holy city of Qom for talks believed to be about the forthcoming visit of United Nations Secretary General Kurt Waldheim. But there was little hope that the fifty hostages would be quickly released.
SYNOPSIS: The captives of Iranian Moslems decked their quarters with the traditional Wester symbols of the season of peace and good will. With them for the celebration of Christmas were four Christian clergymen. Together they tried to ignore the threats of spy trials and possible severe penalties under Moslem law, and instead recalled the songs and prayers of Christmas.
Four Christian clergymen, three of them from the United States, spent five hours celebrating Christmas at the Embassy, where students have held the hostages for the past seven weeks. The hostages said they have received no indication that any of them would be released soon.
While Christmas was being celebrated inside the embassy, the students outside were still gathering evidence to back their charges that there had been spying. On Christmas Eve they produced a new collection of documents which they said supported their claim that Abbas Amir Entezam, a former deputy Prime Minister in the first Revolutionary government, had collaborated with the United States central Intelligence Agency (CIA). Mr. Entezam was under arrested on the basis of evidence the student said they found in the embassy.
The top Moslem clergyman in Teheran, the Ayatollah Hossein Ali Montazeri, known for carrying an automatic rifle with fixed bayonet at Friday prayers, said he visited the hostages on Christmas Day. Although some observers thought a number of hostages would be released for Christmas, one of the visiting clergymen, the Reverend William Sloane Coffin, said there was no sign of any immediate end to the siege.