”I have said several times that the United States took a hostile attitude toward Iran after the 1979 Islamic revolution. Direct talks with the United States make no sense as long as this condition exists.”
Hojatolislam Hashemi Rafsanjani, Speaker of Iran’s Parliament and Acting Commander in Chief of its armed forces
U.N. Secretary General Javier Perez de Cuellar held two rounds of talks with the Iranian Foreign Minister, Ali Akbar Velayati, on a cease-fire in the eight-year-old Persian Gulf War.
Following the meetings, Velayati told reporters that the talks had been ”very constructive and fruitful.”
”We had a frank and sincere exchange of views,” Velayati added. According to Velayati, the UN Security Council is deeply concerned about charges that Iraq is using chemical weapons.
Iraq Foreign Minister, Tariq Aziz, has arrived in New York and will meet Javier Perez de Cuellar tomorrow. Iran is refusing direct talks with Iran officials.
The War Goes On
A communiqué from the Iranian armed forces General Command states that Iraqis had taken the towns of Karand, located about 35 miles inside Iran’s border, as well as the nearby city of Islamabad-i-Ghar.
According to Iranian sources, Iraqi troops are currently holding several towns in the central front, including Qasr-i-Shirin, Sumar, Sar-i-Zahab, Salehabad, and Islamabad.
Allegedly, the Iraqis are allowing an Iranian dissident movement, the People’s Mujahedeen, to occupy these territories
American Hostages in Lebanon
According to official sources, the Secretary General has urged Velayati to use his influence to secure the release of the American hostages held in Lebanon. Washington would appear to have pressure him to do so.
”It would be very difficult for Washington to resume relations with Iran unless the hostages are freed,” said United States chief delegate to the United Nations, Vernon A. Walters.
Speaking today on Iranian television, Hojatolislam Hashemi Rafsanjani, the Speaker of Iran’s Parliament and Acting Commander in Chief of its armed forces, said that Iran would help obtain the release of American hostages held in Lebanon if the United States returned Iranian assets frozen in this country. According to Rafsanjani, the Iranian assets frozen by the US amount to about a US billion dollars.
”If they really want to talk, let them take a non hostile pose by releasing our assets. If so, we will use our influence in Lebanon and intercede to solve the problem of hostages,” Rafsanjani said in a broadcast.
The United States quickly reject the proposal. ”The Iranian proposal is completely unacceptable. We have made clear our position many times. We are not going to be making any deals on the hostages, ” a State Department official said.
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