Former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger warned today against efforts to obtain the release of the American hostages held in Iran through an "act of self-abasement by the United States."
Citing recent attempts by former attorney general Ramsay Clark and by prominent Socialist politicians to mediate a solution to the hostage crisis, Kissinger said he was "appalled by the tendency of so many in the West to believe the hostage question should be settled by an act of American self-abasement" or by a "formula by which we should confess our sins."
Reiterating his belief that the United States has "nothing to apologize for" in its past relationship with the shah of Iran, Kissinger said such an act would "demoralize" current U.S. friends among the "moderate" oil-producing nations.
These regimes find themselves "in the jaws of a gigantic pincer" and need the assurance of dependable United States support, Kissinger said at an international conference on energy problems here.
Speaking specifically about Saudi Arabia, Kissinger said the royal family there faces "serious domestic problems of which they are aware" and which he said should be treated by the West "with a minimum of publicity."
"The sudden disruption of Saudi Arabia would almost certainly lead us to a disaster," he said. "Some sort of radicalism of a secular or religious kind would emerge aimed against the industrial democracies.""
The problems of the Middle East also are not likely to be solved by a "magical solution" to the problem of stateless Palestinians living in the Israeli-occupied West Bank of the Jordan River, Kissinger said. He said the United States should not allow itself to be pushed into agreeing to a rapid withdrawal of all outside authority over the Palestinians.
Instead, he urged that if the Camp David process failed, Jordan and other "moderate elements" in the region be brought into negotiations.