The Iranian capital, Teheran remains in a state of almost total lawlessness with armed mobs controlling the streets.
The Iranian capital, Teheran remains in a state of almost total lawlessness with armed mobs controlling the streets. On Wednesday (14 February) gunmen stormed the U.S. embassy and attacked several television stations.
SYNOPSIS: There's confusion about the identity of the armed civilians who attacked the embassy. The United States State Department claims the guerrillas were left-wingers opposed to the creation of an Islamic republic by the Ayatollah Khomeiny. Soviet television however has claimed that the raid was carried out by former agents of SAVAK, the Shah's secret police force and was designed to provide an excuse for United States military intervention in the Iranian crisis. A Soviet commentators linked the CIA (Central Intelligence Agency) with the attack on the embassy.
The U.S. State Department says that one Iranian employee at the embassy was killed and two American marines were wounded. U.S. Ambassador William Sullivan gave the order to surrender after exchanges of fire between U.S. marines and the guerrilla, but only after staff had burned essential documents and destroyed a decoding machine. The new Iranian government intervened in the attack on the embassy. Government militia men indistinguishable from the street mobs raced to the embassy and dispersed the attackers. Embassy staff emerged from their buildings after being held captive for nearly two hours.
One of the guerrillas who had attacked the embassy explained why.
Ambassador William Sullivan told how the embassy was attacked.
Prime Minister Mehdi Bazargan and the members of his cabinet are appealing for moderation by their armed supporters in the streets. And appealing for the followers of the Ayatollah Khomeiny to give up their arms. Prime Minister Bazargan has told the Iranian people that they can best show their support for him and his ministers by going back to work on Saturday (17 February).