Iran's military Prime Minister has resigned in an effort to solve the country's deepening crisis.?
SV Shah of Iran and his wife, the Empress Farah, walking in grounds of Palace in Teheran and being questioned by reporters
SCU PAN FROM Shah's wife to Shah, with BBC reporter simon Dring speaking to Shah
GV oil refinery in Ahvaz with flames pouring from chimneys (FOUR SHOTS)
GV oil refinery (SIX SHOTS)
GV skyline of Teheran, with NBC's Jim Bitterman's voice over film
GV & SV owners pushing their cars to reach petrol pumps (TWO SHOTS)
GV Iran Air building in Teheran
GV offices of Japan Airlines
GV & SV garbage lying in streets
GV people standing next to cars in petrol queue (TWO SHOTS)
SV INTERIOR empty food shelves in super-markets
GV overhead power-lines
GV Government building and banks with closed doors (TWO SHOTS)
DRING: "Are you planning to take a winter vacation this year, Your Majesty?"
SHAH: "A few years ago I didn't have the opportunity. I would love to if the situation was..."
DRING: "You used to go to St Moritz about three years ago."
SHAH: "Four years ago, yes."
DRING: "Any plans of going to St Moritz again?"
SHAH: "I can't say."
BITTERMAN: "It's no longer that foreigners are being advised to leave. Aside from the strong feelings against foreigners now, this place is no longer a very easy place to live. The country is coming to a full-stop. You can't get around easily anymore. Drivers are pushing their cars along lines that are sometimes more than a mile long, to buy a few gallons of what gasoline there is left. National airline employees are amongst those on strike against the Shah, so there are no internal flights. A few international carriers have been coming in, but they may stop soon because airport workers have joined in the strikes. Because fuel is limited, there are not garbage pick-ups -- refuse is piling up in the streets. For the same reason there are long lines at the (indistinct) stores, the kerosene fuel many use for feeding and cooking. Transportation problems have stopped the delivery of food to the supermarkets. Shelves are starting to go empty. The capital city may soon go dark. One source says the local powerplant only has fuel for two more days. Government ministries are closed, banks are closed and many businesses are closed."
REPORTERS: SIMON DRING/JIM BITTERMAN
Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved
Background: Iran's military Prime Minister has resigned in an effort to solve the country's deepening crisis. Official radio broadcasts said on Monday (1 January) that the Shah of Iran had accepted the resignation of General Gholam Reza Azhari. General Azhari was appointed Prime Minister last November to stamp out the mounting anti-Shah violence which is still seeping Iran. The Shah is reported to have asked General Azhari to stay on until another Cabinet is formed. On Monday (1 January), the Shah made a rare public appearance and strolled through the grounds of his palace in Teheran with his wife, the Empress Farah.
SYNOPSIS: BBC reporter, Simon Dring, asked the Shah whether he had any holiday plans this year.
Iran's oil fields, the country's only major source of wealth, have been crippled by protest strikes. After serious clashes on Sunday (31 December), in the south-western oil city of Ahvaz, foreign oil technicians continued to leave Iran on flights laid on by their companies. Ahvaz was rocked by rioting recently, and Iran is reported to have enough petrol to last about a week. NBC's Jim Bitterman reports on the strikes which have virtually brought Iran's economy to its knees.