Complex negotiations on the release of the fifty-two American hostages in Iran continued on Friday (21 November) with Iran seeking clarification of the U.S. position.
GV & CU Speaker of Iranian Parliament Hojatolesham Hashemi Rafsanjani speaking to reporters in Farsi in Algiers, Algeria. (2 SHOTS)
CU & SV Reporters taking notes while Mr. Rafsanjani continues to speak. (3 SHOTS)
CU U.S. Secretary of State Edmund Muskie speaking to reporters in English, Washington, USA.
TRANSCRIPT: MUSKIE: "Well, I think the way in which the Iranians have handled our proposals I think is positive. They've discussed it quietly. They've discussed it privately. They've not tried to characterise it publicly or to reject it, so they've addressed it seriously apparently and are going to continue to do so. That is a welcome... that attitude is welcomed."
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Background: Complex negotiations on the release of the fifty-two American hostages in Iran continued on Friday (21 November) with Iran seeking clarification of the U.S. position. The American Government is believed to have agreed in principle to Iran's four conditions for the release of the hostages, but there is still no sign of a final agreement. A major stumbling block is believed to be the demand for the return to Iran of the Shah's money.
SYNOPSIS: Chief negotiators from both sides were in Algeria, which is acting as a go-between in the hostage wrangling. The speaker of the Iranian Parliament, Hojatoleslam Hashemi Rafsanjani, told a news conference in Algiers on Thursday (20 November) that the timing of the hostages' release was now up to the United States. He said as soon as the four conditions were met, the hostages would be freed.
America's forty-page reply is still being studied in Teheran by a special group which has been at work for more than a week. As the process continued, Iranian officials confirmed they were seeking more details of how the U.S. would comply with the conditions. And in Washington, Secretary of State Edmund Muskie said at least there had been positive steps towards a solution. But Mr. Muskie was careful not to raise anyone's hopes.