Despite strong public postures, many observers in Washington have the impression that the US and Iran are searching for a peaceful solution to the hostage crisis. The Nobel Peace Prize winner and Irish statesman, Sean Macbride, a US Congressman, Representative George Hansen, and the United Nations are all exploring ways to put together a package deal to give the USA its hostages and Khomeini the satisfaction that his charges against the Shah will at least be investigated. The New York Times reported that the US has indicated it has no objection to an informal formula proposed by the UN Secretary General, Kurt Waldheim, for settling the Iranian crisis.
CPI chides Dange
The CPI Central Executive Committee is understood to have considered even the expulsion of its chairman, S A Dange, for his declared soft-line towards Indira Gandhi but finally thought it wise to go no further than a public repudiation of his stand. The central executive disapproved of Dange’s repeated public expression of his personal views which were at variance with the party’s line. The central executive found Dange’s telegram to H N Bahuguna harmful to its efforts to unite anti-authoritarian and anti-communal forces in the electoral battle.
Terrorists in the Grand Mosque of Mecca have demanded talks with the Saudi King Khaled and Crown Prince Fahd, a halt to oil deliveries to America, and recognition of a young man from their ranks as Mahdi (messiah), Kuwaiti newspaper Al Watan reported. Saudi Arabian spokesmen have hitherto insisted that the terrorists and hostage-takers in the mosque were “fanatical religious heretics without political motives.” Reports from Mecca and Jeddah said the hospitals in the two cities were filled to the brim. And Radio Cairo reported that the terrorists were holding prominent Saudi citizens as hostages.