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U.S. Theorizing on Baghdad Leadership Shift, Iranian Says

May 18, 1986|From Reuters

TEHRAN — Iran's U.N. ambassador has been quoted as saying the United States thinks that Iran might talk peace in the Persian Gulf War if Iraqi President Saddam Hussein is replaced by Omar Saleh Ali, a former Iraqi ambassador to the United Nations.

Tehran's Kayhan newspaper reported May 6 that Ambassador Said Rajai-Khorasani told a Foreign Ministry seminar that if Ali were installed, the United States and other backers of Saddam Hussein "will (think they) have found a person with whom the Islamic republic will probably make a cease-fire and negotiations with."

On May 7, it was erroneously reported--with no reference to the United States--that Rajai-Khorasani said flatly that his government might talk peace if Hussein were to be replaced by Ali.

All international efforts to end the 5 1/2-year-old war have stalled on Iran's condition that Hussein be removed because he started the fighting.

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