INTRODUCTION: In his first press conference since taking office on 20 January, U.S. President Ronald Reagan sounded a warning about the goals of Soviet Communism and said he was not considering revenge against Iran for taking the hostages.
CU Ronald Reagan speaking
SV Judy Woodruff NBC news asking questions and President Reagan answering (4 shots)
SPEECH ON FILM (TRANSCRIPT) SEQ 1-2:
REAGAN: "So far detente's been a one-way street the Soviet Union has used to pursue its own aims. I don't have to think of an answer as to what I think their intentions are - they have repeated it. I know of no leader of the Soviet Union since the revolution, including the present leadership, that has not - more than once - repeated in the various Communist Congresses they hold, their determination that their goal must be the promotion of world revolution and a one-world Socialist or Communist State, whichever word you want to use. Now as long as they do that, and as long as they do that, and as long as they at the same time have openly and publicly declared that the only morality they recognise is what will further their cause - meaning they reserve unto themselves the right to commit any crime, to lie, to cheat in order to attain that, and that is moral, not immoral, and we operate on a different set of standards - I think then you do business with them, even at a detente, you keep that in mind."
JUDY WOODRUFF: "Mr. President, I know you said earlier that you were not thinking of revenge towards Iran, but does that preclude any punishment whatsoever for what they've done?"
REAGAN: "Well, again I have to ask your forebearance and wait until we have finished our study of this whole situation as to what we're going to do. I don't think that any of us have a friendly feeling toward the people that have done what they have done, but I think it's too complex for me to answer until we've had time to really study this."
WOODRUFF: "Would you go so far as to encourage American businesses to resume commercial trade with Iran?"
REAGAN: "At this point, no."
Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved
Background: INTRODUCTION: In his first press conference since taking office on 20 January, U.S. President Ronald Reagan sounded a warning about the goals of Soviet Communism and said he was not considering revenge against Iran for taking the hostages.
The President said he was willing to negotiate about arms reductions with Moscow but he sounded a note of caution when he endorsed the concept of "linkage", the taking into account of Soviet activities around the world in bilateral negotiations. Mr. Reagan said he had not decided whether to lift President Carter's embargo on grain sales to the Soviet Union, imposed after the intervention in Afghanistan.
Although he ruled out any idea of vengeance for the taking of the hostages in Teheran, he added that he did not know whether reconciliation would be possible with the present government - "or absence of government" - in Iran. President Reagan would not specify what he meant when he said earlier than future attempts to take Americans hostage would be met by "swift and effective retribution."