INTRODUCTION: Teheran experienced a weekend of demonstrations (5 and 6 June) and displays of loyalty and fervour by revolutionary guards.
SVs Large crowd in Teheran chanting (2 shots)
TV Women marching and waving flag (2 shots)
GV PAN Seated crowd chanting
SV Ahmad (Ayatollah Khomeini's son) speaking
GV PAN Crowd at rally in stadium
CU Poster of Ayatollah
SV War wounded in wheelchairs receiving flowers (2 shots)
SV Children in uniforms (2 shots)
SV Troops march past
SVs Wounded soldiers and soldiers march past (2 shots)
SVs Soldiers marching past with posters (3 shots)
SV Children with pictures of dead fathers
CU Koran being held up
SV Soldiers march past with flowers in rifles
GV Mullahs marching
SV Soldiers ride by on jeep
SV Rocket launcher with flowers in barrel
GV PULL BACK Crowd in square
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Background: INTRODUCTION: Teheran experienced a weekend of demonstrations (5 and 6 June) and displays of loyalty and fervour by revolutionary guards. They came at a time of heightened tension between the nation's spiritual leader, the Ayatollah Khomeini, and President Bani-Sadr. The demonstrations also marked an important anniversary in the opposition to the rule of the Shah.
SYNOPSIS: Iranians turned out their masses during the weekend of demonstrations in the capital. More than two million people were reported to have taken part, flocking onto the streets to mark the eighteenth anniversary of the start of the Ayatollah Khomeini's opposition to the late Shah's rule. The demonstrations came at a time when the Iranians were claiming victories against Iraq, and of increasing internal tensions.
The Ayatollah's son, Ahmad, was one of the speakers. Street fights have taken place between supporters of the Iranian President, Bani-Sadr, and the fanatical followers of the Ayatollah. But this time, the President appears to be in some danger, because the Ayatollah, his friend and mentor, seems to be firmly behind the opposition.
Against this background, the anniversary demonstrations took another dimension. There were obvious manifestations of the way the crowds felt. At the same time, newspapers, including one controlled by President Bani-Sadr, were banned, and he called for counter demonstrations.
The demonstrations also allowed the Iranians to see the troops, and their wounded, who have been involved in the long-running war with Iraq. The Iranians are claiming recent victories, including the re-taking of strategic positions a few days ago by the Revolutionary Guards. According to the Iranians, the guards forced Iraqis to withdraw form three positions overlooking a border town.
The Revolutionary Guards are a lightly-armed militia that was formed after the Islamic Revolution that toppled the late Shah in 1979. They operate as virtually a parallel force to Iran's army, and have doubtless taken their share of losses.
At the time these demonstrations were being held, the Iranians were claiming big new victories. The official news agency Pars claimed 500 Iraqis killed on the western front, and further victories in the south.
But while it says the situation against Iraq is improving, there can be no doubt that Iran's internal tension is causing increased international concern. But President Bani-Sadr is still fighting leading representatives of the fundamentalist Islamic Republican party, which dominates the government, judiciary and parliament.