December 27, 1979 – With the crisis over the 50 American hostages, held captive in Tehran ramping up at the United Nations, the situation in the Afghanistan capital of Kabul was just beginning to unfold.
President Carter called on the UN to appeal for more stringent economic sanctions against the government of Iran, as any signs of an easy return of the hostages were looking further and further from view. Cater was personally reaching out to the as-yet uncommitted governments of China and the Soviet Union in search of support – he was only two votes shy of the 9 needed to impose sanctions. The situation in Afghanistan was a little less clear. Seems Moscow decided the pro-Soviet regime in Kabul were not as warm to Moscow as was hoped, and so another coup was staged, this time with the help of Soviet troops, seen in the streets of the Capitol, taking up positions around the city as a new government was installed.
It was too early to see where this was going, and Carter needed support from Moscow to implement the sanctions against Iran.
This was the delicate game of diplomatic Chess they all talk about. Amid bluster and posturing, behind-the-scenes negotiations were going at a fever-pitch. But at this point, Tehran held all the cards, in this case the hostages – and as was indicated by the three Clergy who were allowed to visit the Embassy compound, where they met with 43 of the 50 hostages, creating some question over just how many hostages the Iranians were holding. The Clergy spent Christmas with the hostages, and were due to fly back to New York later on this day.
And with four days left of the 70s, that’s what was going on this December 27,1979 as reported by CBS Radio News.