In Iran members of the United Nations Commission conducting an inquiry into the alleged crimes of the former Shah postponed their departure on Thursday (6 March) after being informed by Iranian Foreign Minister Sadeq Qotbzadeh that they would be able to visit the American hostages.
6 MARCH 1980 (TEHERAN, IRAN) (TELERECORDING) (REUTERS TEHRAN)
SV INTERIOR United Nations Commission talking with journalists in hotel lobby
SV Commissioners picking up luggage in lobby
GV TRACKING EXTERIOR Police car escorting Commissioners
SV INTERIOR U.N. Commissioners with Iranian Foreign Minister Sadeq Qotbzadeh
CU Mr. Qotbzadeh making statement to newsmen
QOTBZADEH: "The Commission has finished its work in an excellent manner, and we are thankful for it. That is the first part of their mandate. The second part, which has been a visit of the hostages, unfortunately has met with some resistance. And since the decision of the Revolutionary Council is that this visit will be made, by this Commission, therefore I've asked my friends, the members of the Commission to accept to stay here two or three days more, that such a decision will be applied. And the members of the Commission kindly accepted to have the patience, and stay a few days more. And we're very thankful for it."
GV EXTERIOR Demonstration in front of U.S. Embassy (2 shots)
SV Revolutionary student making statement to demonstrators, with loudspeaker broadcasting speech to students (2 shots)
GV Students chanting
Background: In Iran members of the United Nations Commission conducting an inquiry into the alleged crimes of the former Shah postponed their departure on Thursday (6 March) after being informed by Iranian Foreign Minister Sadeq Qotbzadeh that they would be able to visit the American hostages.
SYNOPSIS: The Commissioners had packed their bags and several had even checked out of their hotel. Then while their baggage was on its way to the airport, the Commissioners paid a farewell visit to the Foreign Ministry. When they emerged, Foreign Minister Sadeq Qotbzadeh announced the Commission would stay to complete the second part of its mission - to visit the hostages.
In the afternoon, the students holding the United States Embassy, made a surprise announcement. They said on State Radio that they were ready to hand over responsibility for the hostages to the Revolutionary Council, despite earlier resistance to the idea. The Council was working late Thursday night (6 March) to plan details of the hostage hand-over.
The students' statement was a bitter one, charging that the U.N. Commission was taking its orders from the United States. They said they had made their decision to prevent any mis-understanding that might weaken the government. So hope is now mounting for an earlier-than-expected release of the hostages.