A Swiss diplomat visited 3 of the 52 American hostages Tuesday and reported they took well the news that they would not be freed by Christmas. Iran refused to allow any Christmas festivities for the hostages, the Swiss Foreign Ministry said.
The Swiss charge d'affaires in Tehran reported, however, that authorities would let "Iranian priests of Christian belief" visit the hostages on Christmas Day. His understanding was that one Protestant minister and one Roman Catholic priest would visit the hostages, the Swiss ministry said.
A State Department spokesman in Washington said he could not confirm this report, but that it would be welcome if it were true.
In Tehran, a leading member of the fundamentalist Islamic Republican Party said there was no chance the American hostages would be released before Ronald Reagan's inauguration as president.