I know you've been up all night with me and I appreciate that very much.
We have now reached an agreement with Iran which will result, I believe, in the freedom of our American hostages. The last documents have now been signed in Algiers, following the signing of the documents in Iran which will result in this agreement. We still have a few documents to sign before the money is actually transferred and the hostages are released.
The essence of the agreement is that following the release of our hostages, then we will unfreeze and transfer to the Iranians a major part of the assets which were frozen by me when the Iranians seized our Embassy compound and took our hostages. We have also reached complete agreement on the arbitration procedures between ourselves and Iran with the help of the Algerians which will resolve the claims that exist between residents of our Nation and Iran and vice-versa.
I particularly want to express my public thanks, as I have already done privately, to the Algerians, to. their President, their Foreign Minister, Ben Yahia, and to the three-man negotiating teams who have done such a superb job in fair and equitable arbitration between ourselves and the officials of Iran. We don't yet know exactly how fast this procedure will go. We are prepared to move as rapidly as possible. All the preparations have been completed pending the final documents being signed.
I will have more to say to you when our American hostages are actually free. In the meantime, Jody Powell will stay in close touch with developments. Working with the Secretary of State, the Secretary of Treasury, my legal counsel, Lloyd Cutler, I'm talking frequently to Warren Christopher in Algiers. And Jody Powell will keep you informed about developments.
Thank you very much.
REPORTER. How do you feel personally, Mr. President, about having pulled this off before you leave office?
THE PRESIDENT. I'll wait until the hostages are released, and then I'll have another statement to make.