In Iran, street-fighters for the Ayatollah Khomeiny consolidated their control of Teheran on Monday (12 February), with the city's last bastion of military support for the absent Shah surrendering or collapsing.
In Iran, street-fighters for the Ayatollah Khomeiny consolidated their control of Teheran on Monday (12 February), with the city's last bastion of military support for the absent Shah surrendering or collapsing. The fate of Dr. Shapur Bakhtiar, prime minister for five weeks, was still not clear after he resigned on Sunday (11 February). The next day Dr. Mehdi Bazargan, appointed by the Ayatollah as provisional Prime Minister of an Islamic Republic, moved into the Premier's office. Reports from Teheran's hospitals suggest that at least five-hundred people were killed and over two-thousand wounded in the two days of vicious street-fighting, which led to the take-over of the capital.
SYNOPSIS: The collapse of pro-Shah resistance in Iran's capital followed mass defections by soldiers, leaving only a hard core of officers and other loyalists with the hopeless task of holding out against the Ayatollah's supporters. When they captured armouries throughout Teheran, they distributed thousands of guns among the civilians. Now well armed, the revolutionaries silenced the huge ???m army base near Teheran airport, blowing up an ammunition dump. They captured the nerve centre of the armed forces at the Qasr base after a six-hour battle. They took over army headquarters and the Imperial Guards's Lavizac barracks. And they walked into the Saltanatabad military complex, after unarmed Imperial Guards fled.
One of the men capturing the guns was asked about the make of the weapons:
The Ayatollah had given instructions not to attack any foreign embassies, but there were reports that the U.S. Information Service Office was ransacked, and the evacuated Israeli mission was burnt down. The Moroccan and Egyptian embassies were also attacked. Both countries had received the Shah since he left Iran last month. Two American hotels were also briefly taken over by armed civilians.
The Ayatollah's men took over the Shah's Winter Palace, symbol of the power of the Monarchy. But there was little fighting. Troops of the Imperial Guard surrendered to a handful of armed civilians and walked out with their hands up.
With the last bastions of the Shah'S authority in Teheran fallen, Dr. Bazargan took office as Premier of the Islamic Republic. He immediately replaced military and police chiefs, and had leading law enforcement officers under the Shah arrested. A number of governments, including the Soviet Union, quickly recognised the new Islamic Republic, while in Teheran the demonstrations of loyalty to the Ayatollah Khomeiny, and the sacking of some public buildings, continued.