America at Night Files


The Ali Statement that Turned Off Khomeini

In February, 1985, when Muhammad Ali suggested to reporters that he had been seeking the help of the Ayatollah Khomeini of Iran to arrange release of American hostages held in Lebanon, press reports of Muhammad's statements coupled with the release of American hostage Jeremy Levin, might've been construed as evidence that Iran was behind the recent wave of kidnappings of Americans in Beirut. Consequently, Khomeini's invitation to Muhammad to visit him in Teheran was withdrawn, and Muhammad went directly to Beirut.