February 28, 1979 – CBS Radio – The World Tonight + NBC Hourly News – Gordon Skene Sound Collection –
February 28, 1979 – Busy news day. The Ayatollah Khomeni made a triumphant return to Tehran, amidst cheering crowds. Despite what many claimed would be the leader’s relinquishing of his religious calling for political power, the Ayatollah assured everyone he was only there to establish the new government and then return to Paris to continue his religious work. Khomeni was greeted at the airport and all during his ride into Tehran by frenzied followers before making a plea to end foreign influence in Iran before returning to a life of meditation and teaching. U.S. President Carter came under fire for what was said to be America’s involvement in the blood-letting during the revolution, and the battle to remove The Shah from power.
Meanwhile, on the diplomatic front; President Carter delivered a deadline for Israel to wrap up a peace deal with Egypt, according to Defense Minister Moshe Dayan, or face a reassessment of American Foreign Policy in the Middle East. Upon closer inspection it seemed that Dayan’s statement wasn’t quite that simple. In either case, the report brought immediate denials from the White House and those diplomatic sources close to the President. But according to other informed sources, the President did tell Dayan that time was running out for the peace process, the recent events in Iran could change the balance of power in that region of the world and therefore it was considered “very urgent” that the negotiations between Israel and Egypt be concluded as quickly as possible.
And if all that weren’t enough – Energy Secretary James Schlesinger took President Carter’s stand-by gas-rationing proposal to two congressional committees on Capitol Hill, but wasn’t able to raise anything but heat against the proposal.
And that’s a small slice of what happened, this last day of February in 1979 as reported by Douglas Edwards and the World Tonight, along with hourly newscasts from CBS and NBC.
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