A massive crowd gathered in Teheran's Freedom Square on Tuesday (1 April) to head President Abolhassan Bani Sadr and Ayatollah Khomeini's son Ahmad address the nation.
GV: Big crowd in Teheran's Freedom Square.
GV: President Bani Sade leaving helicopter surrounded by security men and crowd. He falls under the pressure of people (2 shots)
GV: Son of Ayatollah Khomeini Ahmad next to President Bani Sadr
GV: Military band playing.
CU: President Bani-Sadr Salutes from platform
SV: Armed Youths marching
CU: President Bani-Sadr speaking in Farsi.
GV: Bani-Sadr leaving rally
Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved
Background: A massive crowd gathered in Teheran's Freedom Square on Tuesday (1 April) to head President Abolhassan Bani Sadr and Ayatollah Khomeini's son Ahmad address the nation. Both men spoke about the hostages held at the U.S. embassy entering their 6th month of captivity. Although nothing in their speeches specifically ruled out the possibilities of an anticipated transfer of the hostages to government control, no mention of such a move being immanent was made.
SYNOPSIS: President Bani Sadr made a spectacular arrival at Teheran's Freedom Square - - stepping off his helicopter to be mobbed by the crowd. He had worked into the late hours the nigh before, meeting with both the Revolutionary Council and the students holding the American embassy. In addition, negotiations between Teheran and Washington had been going on for days, amid rumours of a conciliatory letter written by President Carter, but President Bani Sadr waited for the huge anniversary rally to make Iran's stand public. there were also rumours President Bani Sadr was awaiting Ayatollah Khomeini's approval for a hostage-transfer, but when he took the podium, the president spoke only with the authority of the government and the Revolutionary Council.
Ayatollah Khomeini's son Ahmad shared the podium with President Bani Sadr. He delivered a message from his father. It was a bitter attack against President Carter and the United States and it made no mention of a transfer of hostages.
Before President Bani Sadr Launched into his speech he saluted the crowds and inspected march-pasts of veteran fighters of the Islamic Revolution. And after all, it was the day of these youngsters who -- with their guns, Which they still show off proudly -- had driven out a hated regime over a year ago, and who had fought for the high ideals of their revolution.
President Bani Sadr said the Revolutionary Council would take over responsibility for the hostages, if the United States agreed to certain terms. He said the U.S. must issue an official declaration making sure it will not comment on the hostage situation or use to for propaganda until parliament could decide on the fate of the hostages. But with the first round of the parliamentary elections challenged, the fate of the hostages still appears unclear.