The United States should break off diplomatic exchanges with Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini's Iranian government, because they'are "humiliating" for the US and will not succeed in securing release of the US hostages in the Tehran embassy, says Dr. Shahpour Bakhtiar, Iran's last prime minister before the revolution of February 1979.
In a telephone interview with Monitor correspondent John K. Cooley, Dr. Bakhtiar said from his Paris exile he felt the Carter administration had handled the hostage crisis properly in its initial phases.
"It was right to bring it to international attention and use the United Nations," Dr. Bakhtiar said. "But now Khomeini has lost the power to free the hostages, even if he wanted to." Dr. Bakhtiar welcomed the "strong messages" sent by France, West Germany, and other Western nations calling for the hostages' release.
Dr. Bakhtiar said the Carter administration is making a fundamental error by believing it could form an anticommunist or anti-Soviet front with the Ayatollah.
The Tudeh Party (the Pro-Soviet Iranian communist party) and other Marxist groups are temporary allies of the Ayatollah, awaiting their chance to seize power, the exiled Iranian opposition leader contended. They also seek control of northern portions of Iran near the Soviet border, he said: