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UN Secretary General Holds Talks With Iranian Foreign Minister
[Diary of a Vengeance Foretold] Part 25 - July 27, 1988
Ludwig De Braeckeleer (ludwig)     Print Article 
Published 2008-07-28 15:47 (KST)   

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Tuesday, July 27, 1988

"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

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UN Secretary General Javier Perez de Cuellar held two rounds of talks with the Iranian Foreign Minister, Ali Akbar Velayati, on a ceasefire in the eight-year-old Persian Gulf War (aka Iran-Iraq 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 communique 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 Mujahedin, 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 pressured 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 US$1 billion dollars.

"If they really want to talk, let them take a nonhostile 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 US quickly rejected 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.
References

"Iranian Meets U.N. Chief on Gulf War," July 27, 1988.

"Iran Offers Help to Free Hostages in Deal With U.S.," July 27, 1988.

"Iran Disputes Iraq's Withdrawal Claim," July 27, 1988.

"The End of a Ferocious, Futile War," July 27, 1988.

--

Ludwig De Braeckeleer has a Ph.D. in nuclear sciences. Ludwig teaches physics and international humanitarian law. He blogs on "The GaiaPost."
©2008 OhmyNews
Other articles by reporter Ludwig De Braeckeleer

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