Clark pleads for freeing hostages

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Former US attorney General Ramsey Clark made an appeal here Tuesday for the release of 53 American hostages and offered to exchange himself for any one of them.

Mr. Clark, leader of an unofficial 10-member American delegation at the conference on US intervention in Iran, argued that the hostages themselves were innocent and their continued detention would damage the Iranian revolution.

Most of the foreign speakers at the conference expressed strong support for Iran's revolution and several said the hostage issue was a smoke screen for US aggression against Iran.

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But a Yugoslav parliamentarian, Ilija Topalaski, called for a resolution of the hostage crisis as soon as possible, while an Italian trade unionist, Vincenzo Berteletti, said it was blocking international solidarity with Iran and urged that the captives be released.

Among documents circulated at the conference Tuesday was what purported to be a memorandum from US national-security adviser Zbigniew Brzezinski to former Secretary of State Cyrus Vance apparently regarding efforts to destabilize Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini's rule.

In Washington, the White House said criminal penalties might be imposed against the Americans when they return.

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