An international conference set up by the Iranian government to condemn the United States called this morning for a quick, peaceful settlement of all disputes between the United States and Iran, but refused to specifically mention the American hostages who have been held in this country for seven months.
"All issues are included in that resolution, including the hostages," ruled Iranian Foreign Minister Sadegh Ghotbzadeh in rejecting requests by Americans attending the conference to specifically mention the hostages.
"There are many other issues outstanding that we consider more important than the hostages," continued the foreign minister, who acted as president of the International Conference on the U.S. Intervention in Iran.
As expected in a conference heavily weighted against the United States by its very name, Washington was roundly condemned for its activities in Iran over the past 27 years -- including the specific condemnation for a CIA-sponsored coup in 1953 that overthrew prime minister Mohammed Mossadegh and reinstalled the shah on the Peacock Throne.
Among the 107 delegations from 60 countries were 10 Americans, including former attorney general Ramsey Clark, who has agreed to follow up a proposal by Iranian President Abol Hassan Bani-Sadr to form and head a U.S. commission to investigate Iran's case against the United States for its strong support of the shah.
Ghotbzadeh, who chaired the conference's closing session, which ended at 12:40 this morning, insisted that the final declaration focus solely on American activities in Iran. He refused to allow other anti-American resolutions to be included in the conference's closing documents. He also would not allow Iran's allies, the Afghan Moslem rebels, to insert a condemnation of the Soviet Union for its invasion of Afghanistan.
Results of this meeting stood in sharp contrast to a U.N. Security Council resolution and a decision by the World Court at The Hague condemning Iran for holding the American hostages since the U.S. Embassy here was seized by militant students Nov. 4.
A resolution at a mass rally of as many as a half million people here Thursday morning, for instance, repeated the demands of the students for the return of the deposed shah and his wealth before the hostages would be released.
If the shah and his money are not returned, the declaration sponsored by the hard-line, clerical Ilamic Republican Party said, all of the hostages should be tried and sentenced in Iran.
The Islamic Republican Party controls a majority of the newly elected parlaiment, which has been charged by Iran's 80-year-old religious and political leader, Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, with deciding the fate of the hostages.
The American delegates at the international conference here lobbied unsuccessfully for a specific mention of the hostage problem in the conference's final declaration.
"That's why we came here," said the Rev. John Walsh, a Protestant chaplain at Princeton University.
The Rev. Paul Washington of Philadelphia told the conference that a specific mention of hostages would make it easier for the U.S. delegates "to help Americans understand how deeply Iran suffered as a result of the United States' intervention.
"We feel it is necessary for the hostages to be mentioned in order for us to have entree to the American public," he continued.
The Americans who came here face an uncertain reception when they return home. The Carter administration attempted to block their trip by threatening them with fines or arrest for visiting Iran in violation of the U.S. embargo.
Despite the rejection of the Americans' request, Clark, who served as attorney general in president Lyndon Johnson's administration, put the best possible face on the closing declaration.
"At the beginning," he said, "I wouldn't have believed we would have gotten this much."
He said one achievement was the lack of any call for a trial of the hostages as he said the U.S. State Department had feared, and he stressed that 12 delegations spoke during the sessions for a quick release of the hostages. The delegations, including the Italian Communists and Turkey, backed the Americans' request for a specific reference to the hostages in the closing declaration.
Nonetheless, the United States was specifically condemned for the 1953 coup and for its abortive military attempt April 25 to rescue the hostages. Other resolutions accused the United States of "direct and indirect threats, aggressions and conspiracies" against Iran; freezing Iranian assets in the United States; mistreating Iranian nationals, especially students, in the United States; and pressuring other nations to impose economic sanctions on Iran.
The conference also "recognized Iran's right to seek compensation for its enormous material and human losses as a result of U.S. practices during the past 27 years," and its right to seek the extradition of the shah and the return of his wealth, plundered by the Pahlavi dynasty."