January 12, 1980 – news from Tabriz, Iran was loud and violent. Anti-Khomeni demonstrations in the streets of that Iranian city took a turn for the rock-throwing and sacking of offices on this day. An absolute melee in downtown Tabriz as thousands of young people, supporters of Ayatollah Shariatmadari, a rival to Khomeni rampaged through the city, breaking windows of banks, shops and anything displaying a visual of Khomeni, no matter how vague. A bank on one of the main streets of Tabriz was broken into and sacked and eventually burned. All in response to Ayatolla Khomeni’s Revolutionary council who took action against Shariatmadari, by raiding the opposition party headquarters, arresting eleven party members and executing them on the spot over charges of “creating disorders”.
Meanwhile, over at the UN; a UN Security council vote, expected the previous night over sanctions on Iran, was postponed until at least later on this evening, because of verbal hints that Iran may be softening its stance on release of the American hostages, who on this day, were entering their 11th week of captivity. U.S. officials insisted that, when the Council convenes it will either have before it a specific official Irania proposal on the release of the hostages, or it will vote on the American demand that economic sanctions be applied against Iran until the hostages are freed. Secretary Kurt Waldheim started late the previous night to find out if anything had changed in Iran that would be worth following up. The Council was scheduled to meet on the American demand the previous afternoon. But then, hints and suggestions came to some council members, reportedly from Iran’s UN Ambassador, Monsour Farhang that the hostages might be released as part of a package deal involving a trip to Tehran by non-aligned Diplomats and a committee of inquiry into Iran’s grievances against The Shah. But there was nothing in writing, and no assurances of any kind. That was too vague for the U.S., but a number of Council members thought a sanction vote would be unwise. That it would not help the hostages, but only make the Russians look good in Tehran by vetoing sanctions. They asked that these new hints be explored, and that was what was happening, with the U.S. deadline at 6:00.
And so much more was going on this day – but here’s a sample to whet your appetite via CBS Radio Hourly News.