The United States Secretary of State, Mr.
SV Ambassador Mohamed Bedjaoui of Algeria arriving at UN with newsmen waiting for him
SCU Ambassador Louis-Edmond Pettite of France arriving and confronted by newsmen
SV Commission members posing with UN Secretary-General, Kurt Waldheim (second from left), and then they are seated (2 shots)
CU U.S. Secretary of State, Cyrus Vance speaking in English to newsmen
REPORTER: "What's the outlook for today?"
BEDJAOUI: "We had a meeting...."
REPORTER: "Are you hopeful right now?"
BEDJAOUI: "Yes, yes."
REPORTER: "Ambassador, while you're waiting for the elevator, can we ask you a few questions?"
REPORTER: "Are you optimistic at all, Mr. Ambassador?"
REPORTER: "Are you optimistic?"
BEDJAOUI: "I am optimistic, of course. And we have some reasons...."
REPORTER: "Do you believe the situation is still hopeful?"
REPORTER: "Sir, may we ask you for your perspective on this?"
PETTITE: "....only after meeting the secretary-general. Not now."
REPORTER: "Thank you, sir."
VANCE: "I want to express my appreciation to the secretary-general for his determination to continue to pursue this avenue. The door is still open, and I will be keeping in touch with the secretary-general. He and I have been continually in touch as the days have gone by, and we will continue to do so in future."
REPORTER: "What next, Mr. Secretary, what next?"
VANCE: "The secretary general will be continuing to discuss the matter with the commission, and then, after that, we will be having further discussions."
REPORTER: "Do you have any optimistic hopes for the hostages and their families? Can you give them anything new in terms of time?"
VANCE: "I can give them nothing new in terms of time. I hate to characterise things in terms of optimism or pessimism. As I said, I believe that the work of the commission has been useful."
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Background: The United States Secretary of State, Mr. Cyrus Vance, said on Wednesday (12 March) the door was still open to negotiate a settlement on the American hostages in the U.S. embassy in Teheran. Mr. Vance expressed the view after separate meetings at the United Nations with Secretary General Kurt Waldheim, and the five members of the U.N. commission, who had just returned from the Iranian capital after being unable to see the hostages. Dr. Waldheim said the work of the commission, which spent seventeen days in Teheran, was suspended, but not ended. On Tuesday (11 March), newsmen sought comment from commission members as they were on their way to talks. They approached its co-chairman Mohamed Bedjaoui of Algeria, and Monsieur Louis-Edmond Pettite, who is also France's member at the European Court of Human Rights.
SYNOPSIS: During its Teheran visit, the commission had the double task of investigating Iranian grievances against the Shah, and visiting all the hostages at the U.S. embassy. They were not allowed to see the hostages, but a United Nations spokesman said on Wednesday (12 March) that they did meet with three U.S. diplomats being held in the Iranian Foreign Ministry. Mr. Vance told newsmen that Dr. Waldheim and the commission would discuss its possible return to Iran, and praised Dr. Waldheim.