WASHINGTON--Denying reports that the American hostages in Iran could be released this weekend, State Department spokesman, Hodding Carter III, yesterday asked Iranian authorities to clarify their demands.
Iranian President Abolhassan Bani-Sadr told an Italian interviewer in Tehran yesterday that release could come in two days if Washington accepts all conditions set by Iran.
Anything to Leave
Bani-Sadr said Iranian revolutionary leader Ayatollah Khomeini had accepted a plan that could free the hostages held in the U.S. embassy since November 4.
Part of the plan includes establishment of a U.N. commission to investigate Iranian grievances against the United States. At his news conference Wednesday, President Carter said for the first time he was willing to accept such a commission.
Bani-Sadr also repeated the demand that the United States acknowledge past "crimes" in Iran during the Shah's reign. "Whether and when the American hostages would be released depends on the U.S. attitude," he said.
Sean McBride, former foreign minister of Ireland and negotiator in Iran, said yesterday the United States and "the Iranians" have agreed on a plan to release the hostages.
But a senior State Department official said yesterday that "you would die several times over if you held your breath" for the hostages' release.
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