Troops and demonstrators clashed in Teheran and other Iranian cities on Sunday (7 January) as the National Front opposition party celebrated a day of mourning.
Troops and demonstrators clashed in Teheran and other Iranian cities on Sunday (7 January) as the National Front opposition party celebrated a day of mourning. The opposition said it was a day of protest against the new government of Dr. Shapour Bhahktiar which had been introduced to the Shah the previous day. Also on Saturday (6 January), crowds jostled at teheran newsstands as uncensored copies of the city's two leading newspapers went on sale for the first time in two months.
SYNOPSIS: The newspaper, Estelaat and Kayahan, had stopped publishing last November in protest against the then military government of General Gholamreza Azhari. Press restrictions were first relaxed last August by the one Prime Minister Jaafar Sharif-Emami. But, two months later, after martial law had been introduced, military authorities tried to restore censorship, triggering the first of two strikes by journalists.
On Sunday (7 January), a large crowd gathered at this rally in Teheran, whose streets had been emptied by the general strike, which closed shop offices and banks. The noise here came from the habitual anti-Shah chanting, but Reuters reported troop in Teheran had fired their rifles into the air against relatively small crowds of demonstrators. Many demonstrators shouted that the new government was illegal, a term their exiled spiritual leader, Ayatollah Khomeiny, had used in Paris the previous day.
The Ayatollah called for a day of mourning and general strike on Tuesday (9 January). Reuters said the response to this summons would give a clearer indication of the people's reaction to the new government. Amid these scenes of protest , the major talking point was the anticipated departure of the Shah for an extended holiday aboard.
Reports said that the Shah's Boeing seven-oh-seven jetliner, which was parked in the military section of Teheran's Mehrabad international airport, would, within a few days, carry him to an unknown destination.