Ayatollah Khomeini, Shi'ite Moslem leader of the Iranian revolution, has said that if he were killed fighting behind a Palestinian machine gun, he would like to be buried in Palestine.
GV PAN Massed demonstrators assembling with pro-Palestinian banners
SV Ayatollah Sadeq Khalkhali arriving with Palestinian supporters
GV Banner draped over front of rostrum
SV Ayatollah Khalkhali climbing onto rostrum flanked by supporters carrying guns
SV Woman carrying heavy automatic rifle listening as Ayatollah speaks
SV Armed woman speaking into walkie-talkie
SV ZOOM INTO CU Palestinian supporter manning machine gun mounted on back of jeep (2 shots)
SV Armed man listening as Ayatollah Khalkhali backed by poster of Ayatollah Khomeini delivers speech (2 shots)
CU Crowds bearing portraits of PLO leader Yasser Arafat and Ayatollah Khomeini listening to speech (2 shots)
GV Ayatollah Khalkhali continues speech as crowd listens and chants support (2 shots)
Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved
Background: Ayatollah Khomeini, Shi'ite Moslem leader of the Iranian revolution, has said that if he were killed fighting behind a Palestinian machine gun, he would like to be buried in Palestine. His message was read to a large crowd at a pro-Palestinian demonstration in Teheran on Tuesday (15 May).
SYNOPSIS: More than fifty thousand people turned out for the pro-Palestinian rally.
The head of the Central Revolutionary Court, Ayatollah Sadeq Khalkhali, represented Ayatollah Khomeini at the meeting. In the past few days the power of the Revolutionary Islamic courts has become an increasingly divisive debate. Khomeini has ordered that only murderers and those responsible for murder should be executed. However Khalkhali has defended the more than 205 death sentences already passed and said that all supporters of the deposed Shah could expect the death penalty.
Despite the public contradictions between the two Ayatollahs, Khalkhali delivered the message of Iran's unofficial Head of State to the rally on Tuesday (15 May).
He told the crowd that Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini would like to be buried in Palestine if he were killed fighting behind a Palestinian machine gun. Observers in Teheran said the statement reinforced backing for the Palestinian cause by the Islamic administration of Iran.
Ayatollah Khalkhali also quoted the religious leader as endorsing his recent call for the execution of the exiled Shah and some members of his immediate family. The message said that no government had the right to arrest whoever carried out the Revolutionary Tribunal's death sentence on the Shah, who is now staying with Empress Farah in the Bahamas.