Iranian President Abolhassan Bani-Sadr has called for a systematic investigation into complaints that widespread electoral fraud took place during last week's parliamentary election.
CU Ayatollah Beheshti, Revolutionary Council Secretary, speaking in English to reporters
GV INTERIOR Election officials seated around table and speaking on telephone
CU Woman checking election papers (4 shots)
CU Telex operation sending messages (2 shots)
SV Election officials placing voting papers into envelopes (2 shots)
SV Officials seated in office with map in background
TRANSCRIPTS: AYATOLLAH BEHESHTI: "This party, based on the general idea of our people, the group which has established this party, has been known to a great majority of our people since many years ago. They have participated in our fight against Shah and his regime and against the colonial policy ... foreign and colonial policy."
KIFFNER: "One of the first things that will come before the new parliament presumably is the question of the American hostages at the embassy. What do you think of that?"
AYATOLLAH BEHESHTI: "I don't think it would ... will be the first question but it will be in the first series of questions."
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Background: Iranian President Abolhassan Bani-Sadr has called for a systematic investigation into complaints that widespread electoral fraud took place during last week's parliamentary election. The President's office has called for an inquiry into complaints from each polling station in Iran. During an interview at his Teheran headquarters on Sunday (16 March) Ayatollah Mohammad Beheshti, Secretary of the ruling Revolutionary Council, was questioned about the future of the United States hostages held at the U.S. embassy. The Ayatollah, who is the figurehead of the Islamic Republican Party, also spoke the history of his party to reporter John Kiffner.
SYNOPSIS: Some 433 candidates contested thirty seats in the first round of the election and the official results are expected on Tuesday (18 March). President Bani-Sadr has hold the country's official news agency that the election will be declared invalid if it is found that widespread and serious cheating has taken place. He said many complaints had been received. Most of them appear to involve illicit election day propaganda and the manipulation of the votes of illiterate people.
The Islamic Republican Party, which holds a majority of the seats so far declared, has been strongly criticised by minority candidates for displaying its list at polling stations. The new parliament is expected to include many deputies sharing President Bani-Sadr's view that the question of the United States hostages should be solved by diplomatic means.