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August 8, 1985

Second Middle East Division, 'Problem of the Release of the American Hostages (Problem of Public Announcement in Iran)'



Problem of the Release of the American Hostages

(Problem of Public Announcement in Iran)


August 8, 1985

Second Middle East Division


1. Background to the Present Situation


1) On the 7th, following the meeting between Special Envoy Nakayama and Majlis Speaker Rafsanjani, the Iranian Foreign Ministry, at the instruction of Majlis Speaker Rafsanjani, expressed its desire to announce the meeting to the public and sought our side’s understanding. (We made a strong request of the Iranian Foreign Ministry beforehand on keeping this matter secret, but it appears that this point was not communicated correctly to Majlis Speaker Rafsanjani.)


2) Our side responded by insisting that they not announce this matter publicly and requesting the Iranian side to reconsider. The Iranian side then confirmed to us that they brought this matter to the attention of Majlis Speaker Rafsanjani who, having reconsidered it, decided to respect our side’s intention and refrain from making a public announcement.


2. Points to Keep in Mind Regarding This Matter


1) At the time this matter was settled, the Iranian side pointed to instances in the past when Iran had made a request that the contents of talks between Japan and Iran not be made public but that, even so, the Japanese side had in some form made the information public or leaked it to the press. One can say of this point that we “owe” the Iranian side one.


2) Also, after all this, it will not be good for our relationship with Iran if the dispatch of our special envoy in this matter is leaked from our side, so we need to pay even more attention regarding this point.


A report from the Second Middle East Division in Japan. After Special Envoy Nakayama’s visit to Iran to discuss the problem of the American hostages held in Lebanon, Iran expressed desire to announce the meeting to the public, despite Japan’s request otherwise. Japan convinced Majlis Speaker Rafsanjani not to make the meeting public.

Document Information


Diplomatic Archives of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan, File No. 2017-0631. Translated by Stephen Mercado.


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