WE CONDEMN Ayatollah Khomeini's support of the takeover of the U.S. Embassy in Teheran. But we believe the United States should be prudent in its response to the steadily worsening situation; it should put saving the 60 hostages' lives before political retaliation. Military intervention of any kind should be rejected as an impractical option because it is doubtful it would save lives. Instead, the United States should work within the international community through diplomatic channels to secure the release of the hostages. Carter and the State Department should work at persuading Syria, Pakistan and other pro-Khomeini nations to convince Khomeini that he can't impose his internal revolution on the rest of the world.
Carter's refusal to turn over the Shah in return for the security of the hostages is commendable. The action would only serve to set a dangerous precedent which would threaten the future of political assylum. But Carter should also work within the international community to secure the release of the hostages. Various other options should be considered in the event that the initial international pressure fails. In order to avoid military intervention, the U.S. could consider freezing all Iranian assets in the country or breaking off diplomatic relations.