November 13, 1979 – News from Tehran, this day. The demonstrations, flag burnings and chants of Death To America were calmed down a bit this day. Only because Iran had sent emissaries to the United Nations Security Council to demand the U.S. return the Shah in exchange for the hostages. The Shah, who had been overthrown and sought exile in Egypt had wound up in New York, seeking treating for Cancer at the New York Hospital-Cornell Medical Center. The stay was what many said was the spark that ignited the protests back home and the eventual storming of the U.S. Embassy and seizing of the Embassy staff. Now came the touchy negotiations and the posturing. And on this day, Iran, after closing air space to American planes, went to the Security Council to argue for the Shah’s extradition, saying the U.S. was pushing the world to the brink of war.
At the State Department, observers weren’t quite sure what the Iranian position was, except that the original demand for the Shah’s extradition seemed to have been muted in the meantime. Officials were quoted as saying if Iran was making proposals rather than delivering ultimatums, and was now carrying the stalemate from the streets to the UN Chambers, then those may have been steps in the right direction. But the central concern was the problem of how to release the hostages, which the State Department claimed, was against international law. The State Department had opened a line of direct communication with the Iranians at the Embassy in Tehran. But at this point, there was no breakthrough or any intimation of one for the foreseeable future.
Meanwhie, former California Governor Ronald Reagan made it official; he was seeking the Republican nomination for President in 1980. To almost no one’s surprise, Reagan made the announcement at a gathering in New York. Citing the economy as the main problem facing the country and blaming the Federal government for what he termed “the present disaster”, he called for cutting the Tax rates, at the same time citing a need to get rid of the “waste out of Federal spending”. He went on to say it didn’t mean sacrificing essential savings, or destroying the system of benefits which flowed to the elderly, sick, poor and handicapped. But he went on to say that the “federal government has proven to be the costliest and most inefficient provider of such help that we could possibly have”.
Familiar words, familiar stories – and that’s just a small slice of what went on, this November 13, 1979 as presented by CBS Radio’s The World Tonight.