The United States' President Carter told a White House news conference on Wednesday (13 February) that there had been some positive signs in discussions with Iran aimed at securing the release of the hostages held in Teheran since November 4.
SCU INTERIOR: President Carter speaking in English (2 shots)
SV INTERIOR: Journalists listening.
SCU: Mr. Carter speaking in English
SV: Journalist standing to ask question and Mr. Carter listening.
SCU: Mr. Carter replying to question
PRESIDENT CARTER:"For several weeks our efforts and our activities have become particularly delicate and intense. Recently there have been some positive signs although experience has taught us to guard against excessive optimism. Since mid-November we and the Iranian officials have been discussing with Secretary General Waldheim of the United Nations his proposal to send a Commission of Inquiry to Teheran. We would support steps by the United Nations that would lead to the release of the hostages if the steps are consistent with our goal and our essential international principles. I know that you and the American people will understand that I cannot afford at this delicate time to discuss or to comment further upon any specific efforts that may be under way, or any proposals that may be useful in ending this crisis."
"What we would like to have first of all is a Soviet withdrawal, and a commitment that might be verified and carried out that the Soviets would not invade another country or use their military forces beyond their borders again to destabilise the peace. We would like to have a neutral country. If there has to be a transition phase during which a neutral and responsible government might be established acceptable to the Afghanistan people, then perhaps some peacekeeping force espoused by the United Nations, maybe comprised of Moslems or military troops or otherwise, could be used during that transition phase."
Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved
Background: The United States' President Carter told a White House news conference on Wednesday (13 February) that there had been some positive signs in discussions with Iran aimed at securing the release of the hostages held in Teheran since November 4. The President also commented on the steps he had taken in response to the Soviet Union's role in Afghanistan. He said the measures he had taken were appropriate and adequate. He emphasised the delicate nature of the talks with Iranian officials.