President-elect Ronald Reagan advised Iran Sunday not to wait...

Dec. 28, 1980
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President-elect Ronald Reagan advised Iran Sunday not to wait for the inauguration of his administration to negotiate the release of the 52 American hostages and said he would not pay ransom to 'barbarians.'

In Tehran, Iranians marched through the streets and called on their government to set a deadline for the United States to accept Iran's demands for release of the hostages, Iran's Pars news agency reported.

In a speech broadcast to mark a Moslem Shiite feast, Iranian revolutionary leader Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini compared President Carter to the late Soviet dictator Josef Stalin.

As the hostages spent their 421st day in captivity, Algerian diplomats serving as intermediaries in the negotiatations spent a second day talking with State Department officials on the formal U.S. reply to Iran's latest demands for payment of a $24 billion guarantee.

The Algerians met with Carter at Camp David later so he could thank them for their mediation efforts and get a first-hand account of the condition of the hostages.

In Los Angeles, Reagan made his strongest statement on the hostage crisis since he was elected as he left services at the Bel-Air Presbyterian Church.

'I don't think you pay ransom for people that have been kidnapped by barbarians,' Reagan said.

The president-elect said he had not meant his Christmas Eve description of the Iranians as 'criminals and kidnappers' as a warning, 'but if they got a message out of it that they shouldn't be waiting for me, I'd be very happy.'

There was no immediate reponse from Washington to a new option offered Saturday by Iranian Prime Minister Mohammad Ali Rajai. The plan apparently calls for the United States to return to Iran $9 billion in frozen assests while the hostages remain held as human collateral until remaining monetary claims, including the question of the shah's wealth, are arbitrated.

Rajai said the hostages 'will never be released' unless the United States responds to Iran's demands, which Secretary of State Edmund Muskie have called 'unreasonable.'

CBS, which handled the pool transmission of film from Iran showing most of the hostages during Christmas celebrations, said no additional footage was expected.

Appearing on the NBC 'Meet the Press' program, National Security Adviser Zbigniew Brzezinski said, 'I think there is a tendency on the part of the Iranians to try to extract a solution which is excessive and which is unrealistic.'

'I would hope the Iranians, whatever their political stripe or religious or ideological orientation, will ponder the longer range consequences of this destructive feud with the United States,' he said.

President-elect Ronald Reagan's aide Edwin Meese said the Iranians should not expect any major change in policy toward the hostages' release after Regan's inauguraration on Jan. 20.

'I don't think we should signal what we might do or what we might not do,' Meese said on the CBS 'Face the Nation' program. 'But I will say this -- it's very important that they understand that there is absolutely no reason to wait until after the inauguration of President-elect Reagan to send the hostages back.'

Pars said a 'large group of people' from around Iran met with Khomeini at the Jamaran Mosque on the Shiite feast day and that 'massive demonstrations and marches' were held in Tehran and other cities.

In the Tehran demonstration, Pars said religious slogans and speeches werefollowed by a 'final resolution' calling on Iran's government and parliament 'to determine a deadline for the United States to accept the conditions proposed by Iran on the hostages.'

In his speech to mark the feast, Khomeini said Carter and Stalin both claimed they wanted to 'work for people and lead them to freedom' but never did.

Khomeini also called on Iranian officials to end their poltical infighting and 'declare a truce.'

Behzad Nabavi, the head of Iran's hostage commission, told Tehran Radio theU.S. and other Western media had started an anti-Iranian propaganda because Iran had not given Washington 'the desired reply' when it made the $24 billion demand.

The meeting Sunday between the U.S. officials and and Rehda Malke, Algerian ambassador to the United States, Seghir Mostefi, head of Algeria's Central Bank, and Abdel Karin Gheraieh, Algerian ambassador to Iran, ended after about two hours.

The Algerians, who are acting as intermediariesbetween the United States and Iranm flew to Camp David to meet with Carter, who is recuperating from a broken collar bone.

The Algerians, who conferred for nine hours Saturday with Muskie and Deputy Secretary of State Warren Christopher, are scheduled to meet again Monday with American officials at the State Department.

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