The black American civil rights activist and comedian, Dick Gregory, has recommended that a team of internationally-trusted American citizens should go to Iran.
GV EXTERIOR: Traffic in Teheran street TILT UP TO hotel where Dick Gregory is fasting
SV: Semiramis Hotel
INTERIOR SV AND SCU: Gregory stretched out on bed giving interview with cutaway of Ayatollah Khomeini picture on dressing table. (4 shots)
SV: Table containing Iranian pictures and brochures and SV Gregory continues speaking. (2 shots)
GREGORY: "We need free elections, but they don't seem to get rid of..(indistinct) I don't really think you can get into a right/wrong situation. We have to understand the Iranians have just come out of a revolution -- they are still on it. You have to understand that America is two hundreds years old and arrogant..the mightiest nation in the world. And so it's a conflict. I walk into a restaurant, and you own it -- you are worth ten million dollars, but the most arrogant dude there is the maitre d'. But he don't own nothing. I think that's what is wrong with America; we have lost our spirit; we have lost our soul. And to replace it, we are using the gun, you know. It's not going to work. I think we are mature enough that we can reach back and find that spirit, and find that soul, and find that thing that made America a great nation way back in the old days."
CHISHOLM: "Can you see the taking of hostages as being justified?"
GREGORY: "Oh,no. It's not justified. You can understand it, but you can't justify it. We had a riot in Miami a couple of weeks ago. Nobody in their right mind can justify it, but you have to be able to understand it."
CHISHOLM: "Whose move is it?"
GREGORY: "I think it's the American move."
CHISHOLM: "And what would that be?"
GREGORY: "To release all the property that we're holding, all the money; to call back sanctions; and to come in and make quiet negotiations, to see a group of American people in here that's trusted the world over. And let them come in and document what the CIA (Central Intelligence Agency) have done in this country for thirty-some years."
GREGORY: "And, I think when we look at that ill-fated invasion..you know, for the American people in America to believe it was an humanitarian act..but, to be here where the American embassy is sitting..and to know when the Iranian people hear the bombs coming, they won't run to their cellar like we would; they were going to run to the embassy. And there was no way in the world you was going to get them hostages out alive, unless you had some kind of gas, and you could put a whole town to sleep, And we might have that. Otherwise we come here ???to get them killed."
REPORTER: SCOTT CHISHOLM
Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved
Background: The black American civil rights activist and comedian, Dick Gregory, has recommended that a team of internationally-trusted American citizens should go to Iran. Their task would be to document the activities of the United States Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) for thirty years of the former Shah's rule. Mr Gregory was speaking from his bed in the Semiranis Hotel, in Teheran, where he has been fasting since April the 20th in hope of helping to have the American hostages freed. He spoke to Visnews Scott Chisholm.
SYNOPSIS: The hotel is just across the street from the U.S. embassy where fifty-three hostages were held until the aborted U.S. rescue bid. Who was mainly to blame Washington or Iran?