Following is the text of the White House statement on the aborted attempt to rescue the hostages:

"The president has ordered the cancellation of an operation in Iran which was under way to prepare for a rescue of our hostages. The mission was terminated because of equipment failure.

"During the subsequent withdrawal of American personnel, there was a collision between our aircraft on the ground at a remote desert location in Iran. There were no military hostilities, but the president deeply regrets that eight American crew members of the two aircraft were killed and others were injured in the accident.

"Americans involved in the operation have now been airlifted from Iran, and those who were injured are being given medical treatment and are expected to recover.

"This mission was not motivated by, hostility toward Iran or the Iranian people, and there were no Iranian casualties.

"Preparations for this recuse mission were ordered for humanitarian reasons, to protect the national interests of this country and to alleviate international tensions. The president accepts full responsibility for the decision to attempt the rescue. The nation is deeply grateful to the brave men who were preparing to rescue the hostages.

"The United States continues to hold the government of Iran responsible for the safety of the American hostages.

"The United States remains determined to obtain their safe release at the earliest possible date."