The Michigan Daily-Tuesday, January 20, 1981-Page 5
RE-ELECTION BID CRIPPLED BY HOSTAGE ORDEAL
Iran held Carter
Ah AP News Analysis
WASHINGTON - For more than a year, President
Carter was the other American hostage. His
presidency and, perhaps, his place in history, was
held captive along with the Americans seized by
Iranian militants on Nov. 4, 1979.
For the cruel ordeal of the Americans held in
Tehran to end in the final hours of Carter's presiden-
cy would add an ironic twist to a bizarre international
crisis that clouded his re-election campaign and
ultimately crippled his chances for a second term.
THE HOSTAGE CRISIS was the imponderable of
the 1980 presidential campaign. Neither Carter nor
his opponents could predict the political effect of the
frustrations the American people felt throughout the
Few politicians doubted that release of the
Americans before election day would benefit Carter.
The results of the election "might have been dif-
ferent," said Vice President Walter Mondale on Sun-
Voters in the early primary and caucus states sup-
ported the embattled president, who vowed to stay off
the campaign trail until the hostages were freed.
BUT THAT WAS a vow he was to regret when the
crisis outlasted original expectations. Finally, Carter
resumed campaigning and for a while the hostage
crisis seemed to fall behind the economy as the
dominant concern among voters.
But less than a week before election day hopes
soared that at last the Americans were about to be
freed. When those hopes proved premature,
whatever chances Carter had for victory over
Reagan were dashed.
There was a surge of optimism that the hostages
might finally be freed when the Iranian parliament
met on Nov. 1, three days before the U.S. election, to
set conditions for release of the Americans.
THE NEXT NIGHT, Carter told an expectant
nation that the Iranian terms "appear to offer a
positive basis" for reaching an end to the crisis. In
saying the negotiations to follow had only a slim
chance of quick success, he sought to avoid raising
But the administration was caught in'a political
whirlwind. As they had been from the start, events
were largely beyond the control of the president and
Election day drew closer with public attention
riveted on Tehran. The cautious words from the
White House and State Department did little to dam-
pen expectations that the Americans might be
coming home at last.
By election day it was clear freedom was a long
But even a last-minute release of the 52 Americans
finally may give Carter a measure of what he sought
so avidly - public recognition that he served the
nation wisely and well in a difficult time that offered
little opportunity for political rewards.
Iran accord prohibits lawsuits
Daily Photo by JIM KRUZ
A FLAG HANGS in front of Schlanderer Jewelry on South University in an-
ticipation of the return of the American hostages from Iran.
Tami leS of hostages
By the Associated Press.
The bleary-eyed families of 52
American hostages poured champagne,
set off firecrackers, and put up
"welcome home" banners yesterday to
celebrate expected freedom for their
lobed ones after 14 months of cap-
Few were sleeping when President
Carter came on television before dawn
to give the word: An agreement had
been signed to free the hostages. And
those who weren't awake quickly got
the word in a telephone call from the
"IT'S WHAT WE'VE been waiting to
hear for so'long," said Doris Moeller of
Loup City, Neb., mother of hostage
Marine Sgt. Michael Moeller. "It's just
ad end of a long, long time."
"It's been a wonderful night," said
Dorothea Morefield of San Diego, wife
of fostage' Richard Morefield. "The
(Continued from Page 1)
-master's degree in history. His wife,
Wallapa, said last night in her
Macllean, Va. home that she had
"received a letter from him yester-
Tomseth last saw her husband two
weeks before the embassy take-
over. He did not speak on the
Christmas film, but did appear
briefly. "He chose not to do it. You
could see he was so mad; he would
not be part of the holiday show."
TOMSETH later received news of
her husband at the embassy tea with
the Algerians which Graves also at-
Tomseth predicts her husband will
remain in the foreign service. "He
likes the foreign service and he's
really good at it.
"It wasn't all it was cracked up to
be, but he is one of the ones who
could make it better," Tomseth said.
Tomseth has spoken to reporters on
the phone but said she had not
allowed any newspeople to come to
her door. "My husband is such a
private person. Everyone copes in
his own way," she said, echoing
Queen was unavailable for com-
ment last night. His mother, Jeanne
said from her Lincolnville Beach,
Maine, home that he has been
Writing to the hostages in Iran since
his release last July. "He will feel
really free for the first time when all
the hostages come home," she ad-
weight's lifted; the pain's gone. It's a
Most of the hostage families said they
didn't plan to go to West Germany,
where it was expected the hostages
would be flown and possibly remain for"
ROBERT HOHMAN, father. of
hostage Donald Hohman of West
Sacramento, Calif., came to his door
with tears in his eyes, a smile on his
face, and a "Free the Hostages" pin on
"Well, that's it. It's official," he said.
The parents of hostage Johnny
McKeel grabbed a large yellow ribbon
and walked from their Balch Springs,
Texas, home shortly after the State
Department called. They stood in the
light rain and tied the ribbon around
their oak tree.
WASHINGTON (AP) - In the
delicately balanced contract to end the
14/%-month hostage crisis, the U.S.
government has agreed to forbid
everyone including the hostages
themselves - from suing Iran for
At the same time, the United States
promises to help Iran press its lawsuit
seeking to seize the vast wealth of the
late Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi.
HE AGREEMENT barring lawsuits
and referring all prior claims against
Iran to an international arbitration
panel is one of the many commitments
made by the United States in the
agreements intended to bring the
Essentially, Iran made one commit-
ment in exchange: freedom for the 52
The centerpiece of the agreements is
a straight trade - freedom for the
hostages in return for release of the
billions of dollars in Iranian assets
frozen by President Carter 10 days af-
ter the hostages were seized at the U.S.
Embassy in Tehran on Nov. 4,1979.
THE DEAL fell victim, however, to a
dispute over the exact language in the
additional documents that will im-
plement the agreements. These ad-
ditional' documents, which have not
been released, focus on procedures and
The dispute specifically centers on a
provision dealing with Iran's recovery
of assets that might be found in the
future after the hostages are released.
THE 10 PAGES of published
agreements specified the whole series
of U.S. promises to Iran, all to be
triggered by the hostages' release.
" "The United States pledges. . . not
to intervene directly or indirectly,
politically or militarily in Iran's inter-
nal affairs," says one of the agreemen-
* The U.S. government pledges to
"restore the financial position of Iran,
insofar as is possible to that which
existed prior to Nov. 14, 1979," the day
Carter ordered Iranian assets frozen.
This means returning billions of dollars
in assets to Iran's control.
* The U.S. government will end all
trade sanctions against Iran.
* The U.S. government will freeze
the property and assets of the former,
shah and his close relatives pending
resolution of the Iranian government's
lawsuit seeking to obtain such funds.
The U.S. government will order anyone
with knowledge of the funds to inform
" The U.S. government will ter-
minate existing lawsuits against Iran
and refer those to arbitration.
" The U.S. government will prohibit
all future lawsuits against Iran in the
United States stemming from the
hostage seizure or the Islamic
The agreements specify that both the
United States and Iran will terminate
all lawsuits against each other and all
such litigation involving each country's
citizens and "to bring about settlement
of all such claims through binding ar-
bitration." That refers to the sinter
national tribunal set up by the
In particular, the agreement states
the United States will bar any citizen
from suing Iran or attempting to collect
damages from Iran because of the
seizure of the embassy, the detention of
the hostages or damages due to the
Islamic revolution in Iran that were not
actions of the government.
The financial arrangements for the
hostages' release were quite complex,
due to the number of banks and the
huge amounts of money involved.
Under the principle of attempting to
put the Iranian assets back in the status
that existed when Carter froze them,
one of the main points of the financial
deal states that Iranian assets held by
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the Federal Reserve Bank - put at $i
billion in gold and $1.2 billion in cash
and securities - have been deposited
with the Bank of England. They are to
be put in an escrow account and tran-
sferred to Iranian control when the
hostages are freed.
Hostage talks hit snag
over bank agreement
(Coninued from Page 1)
lawsuits against Iran.
"U.S. banks have brought up an ap-
pendix which even with the utmost op-
timism could only be viewed as an un-
derhanded maneuver for delaying the
final solution of the problem. Iran
severely condemns this subterfuge," he
White House officials and U.S.
banking sources both denied Nabavi's
charges but conceded there were more
problems to be ironed out.
"WE DON'T know what they're
talking about," a White House
spokesman said. "There certainly have
not been any underhanded appen-
A spokesman for Citibank, one of the
banks holding Iran's frozen assets, said
the appendix was part of the agreement
between Iran and the United States and
had nothing to do with the financial in-
Pil spills cause bird deaths
(AP)-More than 2,000 dead sea birds
have been found along the Dutch coast
in the last week, apparently victims of
oil spills that killed 150,000 to 200,000
birds further north, the Agriculture and
Fisheries Ministry said.
Authorities have not traced the sour-
ce of the spills, which also have killed
birds in Norway, Sweden, and Den-
mark. The spills could have resulted
from oil-drilling operations in the North
Sea or from leaks in tankers passing in
stitutions. "The banks were not parties
to it and had no part in its drafting," he
"It (the agreement) is very com-
plicated and there may have been an
honest misunderstanding," another
banking source said.
STATE DEPARTMENT officials
said the delay was caused by Iran's
failure to send a set of documents to the
Bank of England, which is setting up an
escrow account to receive the $9 billion
in Iranian assets.I
Until that escrow account is set up,
the officials said, Carter cannot sign the
necessary executive agreements tran-
sferring the funds. And until the
documents are exchanged, the Iranians
will not release the hostages.
Secretary of State Edmund Muskie
described the snag as "complex" but
"manageable . . .. It will be managed,"
THE OFFICIAL reached in Nabavi's
office after Nabavi made his comments
said the issue "was not very com-
"They could reach agreement any
moment and the hostages would go
back to their country. God willing,
everything will be over," added the of-
ficial, who declined to identify himself
when reached by telephone from Beirut
A group of Algerian doctors and nur-
ses had examined the captives and one
doctor reached at his Tehran hotel
early yesterday said, "All the hostages
are in good health." He refused to say
where the doctors had examined the
The latest crisis in the 141/2-month or-
deal came cruelly at just the moment
when it appeared the hostages would be
At 4:58 a.m. EST, while most of the
nation was asleep, a weary Carter went
on television to somberly announce the
news that had eluded his final, troubled
year in office until the last full day of
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