Police in Iran have still not captured the assassins who gunned down Ayatollah Morteza Motahari -- said to have been the head of the country's ruling Revolutionary Council and one of Ayatollah Khomeini's right-hand men.
GV Mourners marching ahead of hearse with police trying to control crowds in Teheran street. (2 SHOTS)
CU Gun barrels with red carnations attached.
SV Weeping mullah amongst crowd of mourners.
SV Crowd passes small boy with fun at ready.
SV Funeral procession passes weeping man.
SV Mourner places white carnation into barrel of soldier's gun.
GV Crowd waving and shouting anti-Communist slogans as vehicle carrying body moves past. (3 SHOTS)
GV Mourners carrying banners and wreaths.
GV Crowd surrounding hearse.
SV & CU Man and woman weeping as procession passes by. (3 SHOTS)
GV Veiled women marching in procession.
TOP VIEW Crowd massing in streets.
The Forghan group also claimed responsibility for an earlier assassination -- that of major-General Gharani. He has been posthumously promoted to the rank of Lieutenant-General and one of Teheran's main streets has been named after him.
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Background: Police in Iran have still not captured the assassins who gunned down Ayatollah Morteza Motahari -- said to have been the head of the country's ruling Revolutionary Council and one of Ayatollah Khomeini's right-hand men. The Ayatollah died last week (1 May) after being shot in the head by unknown gunmen as he left the home of a Prime Ministerial aide. It was the second political assassination since the February revolution which overthrew the Shah of Iran. A note found near the scene claimed that the murder was the work of the shadowy Forghan organisation, which condemns political rule by Iran's mullahs -- or priests.
SYNOPSIS: A crowd -- estimated at more than a million -- turned up in Teheran for the funeral procession on Thursday (3 may). Senior Cabinet ministers, were said to be among the crowd and hundreds of turbaned mullahs joined the throng in shouting anti-Communist slogans.
Other expressed less belligerent sentiments. The body of Ayatollah Motahari was carried slowly through the streets of Teheran before being transported to the holy city of Qom -- ninety miles (150 kilometres) south of the capital.
The assassination has been blamed on both international imperialism and international Communism. A third theory was that the assassins were former members of Savak, aiming to spread chaos in Iran. In a radio broadcast shortly after the murder, Ayatollah Khomeini said "terrorism" would only strengthen Iran's struggle against corruption, dictatorship and imperialism.
Mullahs in the funeral procession carried banners saying "our way is Ayatollah Khomeini's way -- Communists get lost". Another banner waved by a mullah read: "Guerrillas against Islam should be hanged".
It was a day of national mourning and all government departments, schools, shops and office were closed. The crowd in Teheran's streets was the biggest since the February revolution.