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Reagan Rejects Arms-Hostages Link, Bush Says

January 21, 1987|United Press International

WASHINGTON — Vice President George Bush said Tuesday night that President Reagan "is certain to this very day" that the sale of weapons to Iran was not an arms-for-hostages swap.

Bush told a conference on terrorism that the Administration, wounded by the Iran arms affair, now has "the opportunity to restore the credibility of our policy."

"We have to stand up to terrorism and we have to keep standing up until we stop it," he said. "That's why our policy has been--and continues to be--no concessions to terrorists."

Bush touched on the frustration felt within the Administration over the prolonged detention of the American hostages in Lebanon and the determination to "explore every channel, run down every lead."

Bush also confirmed for the first time the death of hostage William Buckley, saying the U.S. embassy official kidnaped in Beirut in 1984 had been tortured and killed.

Buckley, identified in published reports as head of the CIA station in Beirut, has been believed dead since the Islamic Jihad terrorist organization announced on Oct. 4, 1985, that it had executed him. He apparently died in June, 1985, although his body was never found.

Bush did not say how he was sure that Buckley was dead and did not give any details of his death.

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