The Iranian Foreign Minister Sadeq Qotbzadeh arrived in Paris on Friday (15 February) on the last stage of a European tour, but he held out no new prospects for an early release of the American embassy hostages in Teheran.
SV: Iranian Foreign Minister, Sadeq Qotbzadeh speaking in French
Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved
Background: The Iranian Foreign Minister Sadeq Qotbzadeh arrived in Paris on Friday (15 February) on the last stage of a European tour, but he held out no new prospects for an early release of the American embassy hostages in Teheran. Mr Qotbzadeh said in Rome earlier that the hostages would not be released until a proposed international commission on the record of the ex-Shah published its findings.
SYNOPSIS: Mr. Qotbzadeh arrived in Rome on Wednesday (15 February) for talks with the Italian Government as part of Iran's effort to normalise relations with western Europe. He said in an interview on Friday (15 February) that none of the hostages would be freed until the results of the United States commission were announced. He said the United Nations Secretary General Kurt Waldheim, had telephoned him in the early hours of Friday morning to tell him the commission would start work with in the next two days. He said Mr Waldheim told him he was still contacting various parties he envisaged should be members of the committee.
The Foreign Minister said the most important thing was to get the work of the commission started.
If it got down to serious studies, he was certain it would facilitate the release of the American hostages. Asked about reports that the Iranian President, Abolhassan Bani-Sadr, had held out the prospect of the release of the hostages within the next 48 hours, Mr Qotbzadeh said the president had obviously been misunderstood..
Earlier in the day, Mr Qotbzadeh had a one-hour meeting with the Vatican Secretary of State, Cardinal Agostino Casaroli. The discussions were mainly devoted to religious issues and relations between the Vatican and Iran. The Foreign Minister also opened a photographic exhibition featuring the Iranian revolution.