Iranian President Abol Hassan Bani-Sadr today rebuked both the militants holding American hostages in Tehran and the ruling Revolutionary Council following the failrue of a U.N. inquiry commission to make any headway toward solving the U.S.-Iranian crisis.
Foreign Minister Sadegh Ghotbzadeh, after seeing the five-man commission off at Tehran's airport this morning, appeared to mildly criticize the panel's decision to end its 17-day mission to Iran. He said its task required more "patience."
The commission left after the embassy militants succeeded in blocking its request to see all the American hostages as part of its fact-finding mandate.
Ghotbzadeh also said that an unidentified member of the Revolutionary Council saw the hostages at the embassy late Monday night and found them "healthy." The foreign minister did not elaborate.
The militant captors had tightened security at the embassy during the commission's stay, sources close to the captors said today.
They said no mail has been passed to the hostages since the commission's arrival and that regular exercise periods were halted last week as demonstrators gathered outside the compound to support the militants' objections to allowng a commission visit.
The hostages were unaware that negotiations has been under way to transfer them to government custody, the sources said.
As the commission was leaving today, repesentatives of the militants twice tried to give boxes full of U.S. Embassy documents to the panel, which refused to accept them. Tehran Radio claimed that the documents proved "the involvement of the United States in espionage acts in Iran."
In an interview published today in the French newspaper Le Monde, Bani-Sadr was quoted as saying the militants were influenced by pro-Soviet groups. He also predicted the hostages would not be freed before mid-May.
"Unfortunately, they [the militants] sometimes let themselves be influenced by certain political groups favorble to the U.S.S.R., such as the Communist Tudeh Party, which wants to isolate Iran on the international scene," Bani-Sadre told Le Monde.
He also accused the Revolutonary Council, which he heads, of "weakness and indecision" in its confrontation with the militants. "If the council had shown itself firm, if it hadn't changed its mind every day under pressure from this or that group, we wouldn't be where we are," Bani-Sadr said.
The council is dominated by hard-line Moslem clergymen who tend to support the militants and compete with Bani-Sadr for the favor of Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini.
Ghotbzadeh meanwhile denied that the U.N. commission's visit had ended in failure.
"It's departure is just a temporary halt," he told the official Pars news agency. "The commission could carry out its mandate completely and without halt with a bit of patience."