Abol Hassan Bani-Sadr, whose apparent victory in Iran's first presidential election has been taken as an encouraging sign for the American hostages in Tehran, said yesterday a solution to the crisis "becomes attainable" if the United States does not meddle in Iraian affairs.
Bani-Sadr said it was up to Washington to "change its attitude" about the Iranian revolution to resolve the U.S.-Iranian crisis.
At a news conference in Tehran, Bani-Sadr also said foreign reporters should be allowed unrestricted access to Iran even if false an distorted reports are sent to the rest of the world.
"False reports are better than no reports or reports from a long distance," he said -- an apparent reference to the expulsion of U.S. journalists from Iran on Jan. 18.
Unofficial returns reported Bani-Sadr, now finance minister, had received 75 percent of the votes cast in Iran's first presidential election. Official returns are expected Monday. Iran has 22 million eligible voters.
He said he did not "approve of everything" the militants holding the American hostages are doing, but said "it is good that there are differences among the people that open the possibility of a free exchange of ideas."