ABC Evening News for Tuesday, Oct 18, 1988
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(Studio: Peter Jennings) Rumors about American hostages in Lebanon reviewed. Report introduced.
(DC: John McWethy) Attempt by Iran to obtain new weapons for its war with Iraq &that attempt's link to American hostages in Lebanon investigated; details given of plan to release four hostages if United States allowed Chile to sell surplus American-made warplanes to Iran. Role of arms dealers from various ntns. in deal between Chile and Iran explained; payoff to Chilean air force General Ramon Vega detailed. Report that Iranian leader Hashemi Rafsanjani approved linking of hostages to arms deal noted. Role of Cuban-American Ray. Molina as pipeline between United States government and arms dealers explained; his alleged personal ties to President Reagan and Vice President George Bush detailed; photos shown. [MOLINA - says he passed information on to intelligence system and not to administration] Chile reported telling ambassador Harry Barnes of plans to divert planes to Iran. State Department noted responding by contacting United States ambassador to Israel, Thomas Pickering, who contacted Israeli defense minister Yitzhak Rabin about Israel's role in helping Iran obtain American weapons. Molina's contacts with CIA about arms deal detailed. Secretary of State George Shultz's opposition to deal noted. Role of Argentinean Jose Angel Mondino in approaching United States directly by contacting United States naval attache Jerry Houston, who was to explain arms deal to ntl. security advisor Colin Powell, detailed. [SHULTZ - says he wishes groups would "bud out" of attempting to swap arms for hostages.] United States government reported turning down deal.
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