Washington — The White House has angrily denied as "absolutely false" reports by syndicated columnist Jack Anderson that the United States plans to invade and occupy portions of Iran in mid-October, as a move popular with voters.
The White House statement continues: "With respect to the Persian Gulf, the President has said that we consider this region an area of vital interest. Therefore while it is necessary to have plans for dealing with any external threats to countries of the region, we have no intention whatever of initiating any conflict ourselves, and neither the President nor nay other responsible official has expressed any intention to take such an action, either in October or at any other time.
"Erroneous and totally irresponsible reports such as the Anderson column increase the danger to the American hostages in Iran, impede efforts to obtain their release peacefully, and jeopardize American interests in the area generally."
Mr. Anderson says he is "not impressed by the White House denial."