In Teheran, a meeting of thousands of supporters of the Fedayeen, a Marxist guerrilla organisation, was attacked on Monday (23 July) by supporters of the Ayatollah Khomeini.
In Teheran, a meeting of thousands of supporters of the Fedayeen, a Marxist guerrilla organisation, was attacked on Monday (23 July) by supporters of the Ayatollah Khomeini. The Fedayeen have repeatedly criticised Islamic authorities for being too conservative and anti-working class.
SYNOPSIS: The Fedayeen meeting was called to discuss the group's stand on the Iranian constitution. They have become increasingly disillusioned with the direction taken by the Islamic revolution. But supporters of the Ayatollah Khomeini were also out in force, charging that the Fedayeen are anti-Islamic.
The Fedayeen's policies are reportedly popular with young, educated Iranians worried about what they see as a rights drift by the country's current leadership.
The Fedayeen opposed the Shah and battled alongside the supporters of the Ayatollah Khomeini to bring down the Shah. But in the last five months the left-wing group have warned against what they have termed "the power hungry opportunists" acting in the name of Allah. And they oppose the constitutional proposals of the Ayatollah Khomeini. They are faced with being labelled the "communist" part of a so-called plot to spread chaos and destroy the revolution.
Skirmishes broke out between Islamic militants who came to chant "death to the Fedayeens", and the marxist supporters. Meanwhile the Ayatollah Khomeini continues to appeal for what he calls "unity of expression" and cites a 99 percent majority in last March's referendum as his mandate to lead the country.
There were some injuries, but the demonstration went ahead with the Islamic militants circling the venue and attempting to disrupt the meeting.
The Ayatollah Khomeini labels groups such as the Fedayeen as representatives of a tiny minority of westernised malcontents. But thousands of Fadayeen supporters turned out for Monday's rally to hear criticism about the new draft constitution which proposes to incorporate aspects of Islamic law which some Iranians consider to be too puritanical.