Iranian Prime Minister, Mohammed Ali Rajai, left the United States on Sunday (19 October) after offering some hope for the release of the American hostages.
GV TILT DOWN IN Security Council in session
SV Mohammed Ali Rajai Iranian P.M. speaking to United Nations in Farsi. (2 SHOTS)
SV Mohammed Ali Rajai speaking to reporters at news conference and photographers taking shots. (2 SHOTS)
SCU Rajai with foot on table showing war wound to reporters. (3 SHOTS)
SV Rajai speaking to reporters through interpreter (English). (5 SHOTS)
GV People stand up to leave at end of conference.
INTERPRETER: "I fully understand what is going through (the minds of) the families of the hostages, I know how they feel and I know how they suffer. And I know this well because I myself was a prisoner. But I tell you not a simple prisoner. And my colleagues in the government, several of them, have been prisoners of torturous..After the conditions for freeing the hostages was mentioned in Iran by some high quarters this question of AWACS planes being sent there was raised. Which then again, really, for my people, was considered a set-back. And since the AWACS were not there (Saudi Arabia) when the conditions were set, certainly we could see this removing of these instruments as a great sign of goodwill. For the people of Iran, the issue is not the issue of the American elections. For us the issue is freeing the hostages and solving the question of the....this hostage question and not electing a President for the United States. But I can tell you with assurance that the moment that the Parliament, the Majlis, makes its decision, which I think that moment is not far away for my government, the question will be final and solved. Thank you very much."
Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved
Background: Iranian Prime Minister, Mohammed Ali Rajai, left the United States on Sunday (19 October) after offering some hope for the release of the American hostages. But he could give no hint of an early and to the war with Iraq. Mr. Rajai had been taking part in the United Nations Security Council Debate on the Gulf War.
SYNOPSIS: The United Nations Gulf debate was adjourned indefinitely on Friday (17 October).
Before it ended Mr. Rajai charged that the American reconnaissance planes sent to Saudi Arabia (AWACS) spied on Iranian troops, fed data on their movements to Iraq and misled Iranian combat pilots. The accusations were denied by the United States delegate to the United Nations, Donald McHenry.
At a news conference in the United Nations building on Saturday (18 October) Mr. Rajai raised some hopes for the early release of the fifty two American hostages held in Iran for almost a year. When asked about the health of the hostages the Iranian Prime Minister showed reporters his bandaged foot which he claimed had been beaten while he was a prisoner under the last Shah. He was spoke through an interpreter.
Mr. Rajai privately discussed the hostages with Secretary General, Kurt Waldheim, before leaving America.