A Greek Catholic Prelate has met and spoken with many of the United States Embassy hostages in Teheran, but he denies a suggestion that he's been lobbying the Iran Government for their release.
SV: Greek Archbishop Hilarion Capucci walks through US Embassy corridor in Teheran.
SV: Capucci greets hostages and introduces himself (English speech begins at 11 3.4 18)
SV: Capucci and Monsignor Nolan talk with hostages (English speech begins at 49 feet 14.9 metres 1.18 seconds (2 shots)
SV: Woman hostage speaks to Capucci and Nolan. (2 shots)
SCU: Capucci speaking to male hostage
SV: Ahmad Khomeini speaking and being translated into English speech as hostages listen. (English speech begin at 90 feet 27.4 metres 2.24 seconds)
SV: Hostage relies in English and speaks to translator (3 shots)
CAPUCCI: "How are you, how are you, how are you? I am Archbishop Capucci. I am coming from Italia. I am the Archbishop of Jerusalem but I have been put in jail in Israel and three years and a half. Then I have been released. Now I am living in Italia, because I can't go to my Arab countries so from time to time I come here in Iran because I consider Iran as my own, partly, and all these are my children or brothers. So I have found opportunity to come to see you."
NOLAN: "Good to see you, God bless you. God bless you all. And I want you to know that everybody is praying for you. Because you are in our hearts."
HOSTAGE: "Thank you for coming."
HOSTAGE: "How nice of you to come. Thank you so very much for coming."
CAPUCCI: "It's a duty for us. This is Monsignor Nolan."
HOSTAGE: "How do you do sir."
NOLAN: "Hi, How are you?"
HOSTAGE: "I'm fine thank you. Thank you so much for coming."
NOLAN: "That's wonderful, wonderful."
HOSTAGE: "It's an answer to a prayer. Because it's been almost two months since Christmas, and I was praying that we could have chat."
CAPUCCI: "I insisted to be with you because we want to show you that you are not forgotten absolutely."
TRANSLATOR: "We wanted you to look for a solution, (indistinct) a solution under the pressure, and just in order to send the Shah back, here, and then you will be released."
HOSTAGE: "Thanks his excellency for those thoughts".
TRANSLATOR: "He would like to tell you that if you (indistinct) each other he can do it. He would be happy to do."
HOSTAGE: "I think we are very -- we appreciate that very much."
Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved
Background: A Greek Catholic Prelate has met and spoken with many of the United States Embassy hostages in Teheran, but he denies a suggestion that he's been lobbying the Iran Government for their release. Archbishop Hilarion Capucci spend about one and a half hours on Friday (9 February) in the embassy compound, chatting freely with the hostages who have been held there by Moslem students since early November (1979).
SYNOPSIS: Monsignor Capucci is in Teheran as the guest of the Iranian authorities for celebrations marking the first anniversary of the country's Islamic revolution. The Archbishop said he is not searching for a political solution to the hostages stalemate. His interests, he said, are purely humanitarian.
A mounting propaganda war is underway between the Moslem students and newly elected President Abolhassan Bani-Sadr. The students were strongly criticised by President Bani-Sadr on Wednesday (7 February). But both sides agreed to this meeting, which included an American priest, Monsignor Nolan.
With the visiting party was the Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini's son, Ahmad Khomeini, who continues to back student demands for the returned of the exiled Shah.