Iran's leader Ayatollah Ruhollah khomeini has received the country's foreign minister Sadeq Qotbzaden int he holy city of Qom for talks on Iran's foreign policy.
GV ZOOM INTO Rabbi Abraham Herschberg of Mexico (on left) and Reverend Jimmy Allen bowing and kneeling with crowd during inter-denominational prayers led by Ayatollah Montazeri.
GV TOP VIEW: Women bowing heads in prayer
SV: Western churchmen seated during chanting
CU: Ayatollah Montazeri holding automatic rifle and speaking to crowd (2 shots)
GV: Western clergymen and crowd listening to Ayatollah Montazeri (3 shots)
CU: Ayatollah's aide leading crowd in chanting
Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved
Background: Iran's leader Ayatollah Ruhollah khomeini has received the country's foreign minister Sadeq Qotbzaden int he holy city of Qom for talks on Iran's foreign policy. Among the subject they were expected to discuss was the possible visit to Iran by the United Nations secretary general kurt Waldheim and Iran's relations with Panama, which has given refuge to the deposed Shah.
SYNOPSIS: In Teheran where the fifty United States hostages are being held, a weekly religious service attracted Jewish and Christian representatives as well as the usual large number of Moslem Worshippers. It was the regular prayer service held at Teheran University each Friday but this time it was addressed by the Reverend Jimmy Allen of the United States and Rabbi Abraham Herschberg of Mexico. The Reverend Allen, speaking to a huge crowd, called for a quick resolution to the current crisis and his thoughts were echoed by Rabbi Herschberg.
The service was conducted by the Ayatollah Montazeri who held an automatic rifle while quoting passages from the Christian Bible. He told the crowd that Iran must produce more food and become self sufficient to meet the threat of economic sanctions. His speech was accompanied by chanting and prayers as the congregation bowed their heads towards Mecca.
After the prayers , thousands of worshippers marched from the university to the United States embassy where the fifty hostages were believed to be held. Meanwhile, church bells were rung throughout Teheran to show the solidarity of the Iranian people with the Ayatollah khomeini's stand against the United States.
The demonstration came just prior to the opening of Iran's presidential election campaign. Reuters say a relatively unknown university professor Jalaleddin Farsi is likely to win the official backing of the ruling Islamic Republican Party. A government electoral team has reportedly been preparing a final list of candidates to present to the Ayatollah khomeini for vetting. The final list of candidates was expected to be released early in January.