In Iran, the aftermath of the Shah's departure last week has resulted in the focus of many demonstrations being shifted away from attacks on the monarchy to support for the exiled religious leader the Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeiny.
In Iran, the aftermath of the Shah's departure last week has resulted in the focus of many demonstrations being shifted away from attacks on the monarchy to support for the exiled religious leader the Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeiny. During the past few days there have been clashes between pro and anti-Khomeiny demonstrators in many Iranian towns. Some reports claims those opposed to the Ayatollah are Communists or Shah sympathisers. While the whole country waits for the ayatollah's return to teheran on Friday (26 January), Dr. Shapur Bakhtiar's government is attempting to retain control, amid numerous reports of ministerial resignation sand military opposition.
SYNOPSIS: These photographs of people killed during the widespread disturbances in Iran were carried by supporters of the ayatollah Khomeiny through the streets of Teheran on Monday (22 January). The protestors gathered outside the University, which was the scene of many bloody riots before the Shah's departure.
While this peaceful demonstration was being staged in the capital, at least eight people were reported to have been killed in the north-western town of Rezaiyeh, in clashes between opponents and supporters of the Shah. Iran's acting military chief, General Abbas Qarabaghi, announced on Monday that the armed forces would never stage a coup and called upon all troops to support Dr. Bakhtiar's government. The Ayatollah Khomeiny has denounced the Regency Council as illegal and is encouraging ministers and members of parliament to resign. On his return he intends to establish an Islamic republic in Iran.
Amid the general uncertainty of Iran's future once the Ayatollah returns, there are signs of potential splits in the opposition groups. Millions support the Ayatollah Khomeiny and are expected to go one the streets on Friday to greet him. Others favour a more extreme left-wing political line and are circumspect about the religious leader's home-coming. The army, although officially pledged to support Dr. Bakhtiar, could rebel against both the Regency Council and any new Islamic revolutionary regime.