• Short Summary

    The five-man United Nations Commission left Teheran on Tuesday (11 March) after a seventeen-day visit in which it failed to gain access to the hostages held at the United States embassy.

  • Description

    GV Commission with Iranian Foreign Minister Sadeq Ghotbzadeh in Teheran (2 shots)

    CU Foreign Minister Ghotbzadeh speaking to press

    GV & SVs Commission leaving airport building and Foreign Minister Ghotbzadeh saying goodbye as they board airport bus (2 shots)

    GV Plane taxiing at Swiss airport in Zurich

    GV Commission members down aircraft steps and surrounded by newsmen (2 shots)

    SV United Nations Secretary-General Kurt Waldheim seated at table for press conference

    CU Waldheim speaking as reporters take notes (3 shots)


    GHOTBZADEH (SEQ 2): "We have worked out the schedule for our work here and their work in New York and hopefully after a short time they will return to Teheran."

    WALDHEIM (SEQ 7): "For the time being a report cannot be made. But the fact that the government, President himself as well as the Foreign Minister stressed reportedly in the first reactions to the departure of the Commission that they want to continue these efforts are encouraging. It is also encouraging for me that I always had a most constructive co-operation with Washington. The administration has fully supported my efforts. We were in close contact during all these weeks and the statements you heard yesterday evening and this morning make very clear that Washington too is interested too in continuing these efforts. So I am quite confident that the time will come when we will solve the problem. It's just a question of time."

    Initials SW

    Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved

    Background: The five-man United Nations Commission left Teheran on Tuesday (11 March) after a seventeen-day visit in which it failed to gain access to the hostages held at the United States embassy. The commissioners flew to Zurich and four of them went on to Geneva, site of the United Nation's European headquarters. The fifth Commission member was to catch a plane to New York to report to U.N. Secretary General Kurt Waldheim. Meanwhile Mr. Waldheim announced he expected the Commission to return to Iran later to complete their work.

    SYNOPSIS: The panel's decision to leave Teheran followed a statement yesterday (10 March) by Revolutionary leader Ayatollah Khomeini laying down conditions for the visit to the hostages which the Commission found unacceptable. Early today Iranian Foreign Minister Sadeq Ghotbzadeh held a meeting with the jurists and unsuccessfully tried to persuade them to stay.

    Ayatollah Khomeini said the U.N. team could see all the hostages only after publicly stating in Teheran its viewpoint on the alleged crimes of the Shah and United States complicity in them. He said in the meantime the Commission could see only those hostages mentioned in documents allegedly found at the embassy. The Commission has consistently insisted on paying a humanitarian visit to all the hostages.

    The Commission flew to Zurich after stating they would not be presenting a report of their findings so far. They said they felt a visit to the hostages was a crucial part of their inquiry.

    Meanwhile U.N. Secretary General Waldheim commented on the Commission's unfinished work.

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