Five hundred thousand Iranians marched through the streets of Teheran in a mass show of support for their unofficial leader, Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini.
TEHERAN, IRAN (JULY 17, 1979) (REUTERS)
GV Demonstrators marching along road chanting
CU Picture of Ayatollah khomeini
CU & GV Crowd waving fists and chanting (2 shots)
SV Demonstrators marching
CU Poster of Khomeini ZOOM GV Crowd at rally
SV Speaker addressing rally
GV Crowd listening (2 shots)
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Background: Five hundred thousand Iranians marched through the streets of Teheran in a mass show of support for their unofficial leader, Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini. Although the Shah has been gone for six months there is still widespread unrest in some of the country, with continuing violent clashes in kurdish areas in the north-west and arab speaking regions in the south.
Demonstrators marched thought the city, again calling for death to the shah and other western leaders labelled corrupt, including Israeli Prime Minister Begin, Egyptian President Sadat and U.S. President Jimmy Carter. Waving their fists and chanting slogans in support of their Islamic leader khomeini, excited crowds pressed forward to the Parliament building.
Dangerous rifts have recently begun to appear in Iran with supporters of the newly-formed National Democratic Front (NDF) accusing clergymen of seeking to set up an Islamic state to crush dissent.
Instability has been highlighted by eh recent dismissal of the Country's police chief general Saif Amir Rahimi by the Defence Ministry and his rapid re-instatement by the Ayatollah khomeini. Defence Minster Brigadier General Taqi Riahi has refused to comment on the confusion.
Iran's Revolutionary Guard, the main peacekeeping force at the moment is hard-pressed to keep order with riots breaking out in all corners of the country. The Teheran rally although orderly at times ended in pandemonium. More and more people pressed forward to hear the religious speakers, people fainted trampled underfoot. And podiums were knocked down.