Public Papers of Jimmy Carter, 1980-1981

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Author: Jimmy Carter  | Date: September 22, 1980

Los Angeles, California
Informal Exchange With Reporters.
September 22, 1980

Q. Mr. President, did you hear anything more on the Iranian-Iraqi situation.

THE PRESIDENT. Well, I’ve been getting reports in from NSC and the State Department in the trip from Illinois here. We’ve been monitoring the situation very closely. The reports are that Iraq has made several attacks on Iran, by air primarily. We don’t know the extent of the ground force engagement.

Our only hope is that the two nations can resolve the disputes between them peacefully. We’ll do everything we can to contribute to that peaceful resolution. We’re not taking a position in support of either Iran or Iraq except just to encourage them, through the United Nations and through other means, to end the conflict and to minimize any bloodshed that might occur.

Q. In the past Iran has threatened that if it was attacked by Iraq that the American hostages would somehow pay. Are you worried about that?

THE PRESIDENT. Well, I’ve always been concerned about the hostages, but not because of this.

NOTE: The exchange began at 1:15 p.m. following the President’s arrival at the Los Angeles International Airport.

As printed above, this item follows the text of the White House press release.

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