Where's The Fire?

Lots of smoke but little action on releasing the hostages

"My feeling is that the issue of the hostages is moving toward a solution," said Iranian President Ali Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani last week. With those words, Rafsanjani stoked the rumor mill that has been working at full blast since late February, when the Tehran Times called for the unconditional release of the 18 Western hostages, eight of them Americans, held in Lebanon for as long as five years. The day after the editorial appeared, Sheik Mohammed Hussein Fadlallah, the spiritual leader of Hizballah, a Lebanese group that holds some of the victims, added to the hopeful speculation by saying, "We have...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now


Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!