In Teheran, at least fifteen people were reported killed on Thursday (25 January) during fierce clashes between demonstrators and troops along the capital's Shah Reza Avenue.
In Teheran, at least fifteen people were reported killed on Thursday (25 January) during fierce clashes between demonstrators and troops along the capital's Shah Reza Avenue. Observers said the delay in the return from exile of religious leader Ayatollah Khomeiny had built up tension in the capital. A number of his supporters have been preparing a house in Teheran for his headquarters.
SYNOPSIS: The government of Dr Shapur Bakhtiar has prohibited gatherings to try to defuse the country's mood until the Ayatollah returns. He wants to be back in Teheran on Sunday (28 January), having flown from Paris to set up a Revolutionary Council to oversee the creation of an Islamic Republic. His supporters have been gathering at a house in Teheran, which Khomeiny is expected to use as his headquarters. The house is being renovated to suit the ascetic needs of the religious leader.
Rumours spread on Friday (26 January) that the Ayatollah's plane had already touched down at a provincial airfield, and people rushed out shouting ":Khomeiny amad - Khomeiny has come"; until the rumours were clashed by the Ayatollah's aides in Iran.
In the confusion, the tension over his return flared into bloodshed. Troops clashed with Khomeiny supporters demonstrating near Teheran University and the airport which the government had closed reportedly in a bid to thwart the Ayatollah's return. At least fifteen people were feared killed as the soldiers fired on the demonstrators.