BEIRUT — Islamic Jihad claimed today that the Reagan Administration blocked an agreement with France that could have freed the French hostages in Lebanon.
The terrorist group, which is believed linked to Iran, also renewed its demand that two Shia Muslim Iraqi activists deported from France in February be returned to Paris as a condition of freeing the French captives.
The demand was made in a typewritten Arabic statement delivered to the West Beirut office of a Western television network along with a videotape of kidnaped French journalist Jean-Paul Kauffmann.
The statement said the election of French Premier Jacques Chirac brought "signs of a solution for the hostages question."
However, the statement said, the Reagan Administration secretly sent an emissary to Paris "carrying orders for a total coordination with the great Satan on the hostages problem." Islamic Jihad, like Iran, often refers to the United States as "the great Satan."