Iran's President Abolhassan Bani-Sadr escaped unhurt when his helicopter crashed on Friday night (15 August) in the western border area of Iran.
GV & SV Demonstrators with posters of Iranian President Abolhassan Bani-Sadr at Teheran airport (2 shots)
GV Troops running into place next to guard of honour
SV President Bani-Sadr off aircraft and mobbed by crowd (2 shots)
SV Soldier saying prayers ZOOM INTO President Bani-Sadr
SV & GV President Bani-Sadr past guard of honour (2 shots)
GV PAN Massive crowd in Teheran University Square listening to Ayatollah speaking (2 shots)
SV & CU New Prime Minister Mohammad Ali Rajai seated in front row (2 shots)
GV PAN Crowd praying
GV PAN Portrait of Ayatollah Khomeini hanging on wall of Parliament room with Islamic judges debating in groups
SV Ayatollah Beheshti speaking to Judges PAN TO other group
SV Judge addressing audience (3 shots)
Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved
Background: Iran's President Abolhassan Bani-Sadr escaped unhurt when his helicopter crashed on Friday night (15 August) in the western border area of Iran. Other members of the President's entourage were slightly injured when the helicopter crashed. President Bani-Sadr received a tumultuous welcome when he returned to Teheran after his escape.
SYNOPSIS: All day Saturday (16 August) supporters of the President gathered at Teheran airport awaiting his return. The Iranian armed forces also prepared a demonstrative welcome for their commander-in-chief. Troops took their place next to a guard of honour, and together with hundreds who had come to cheer President Bani-Sadr, they waited until after sunset.
Finally the President emerged. Unaided, smiling and waving President Bani-Sadr walked down the aircraft steps and was immediately mobbed by the over-enthusiastic crowd. He had been on tour in Iran's troubled border region with Iraq, and there was speculation about the cause of the crash. But President Bani-Sadr said the pilot had been trying to make a forced landing after a fault had developed in the aircraft.
The assembled crowd and soldiers at Teheran airport said prayers of thanksgiving for the President's safe return. President Bani-Sadr thanked the Kurdish villagers who he said arrived at the crash scene and took him and the other people in the helicopter to a nearby gendarmerie post by jeep.
So anxious were President Bani-Sadr's supporters for his well-being, that thousands of them gathered at the university of Teheran after the news of the accident. They listened to a religious leader speak prayers for the President.
Iran's new Prime Minister, Mohammad Ali Rajai was among the congregation. He had been appointed only a week before by the President Bani-Sadr to form a government in Iran's newly elected Islamic Parliament. He joined in the Mass prayers on the eve of sabbath.
The procedures of the new parliament have begun in Teheran. The council of Islamic Judges met on Friday (15 August) to discuss Parliament's legislation. The council of judges consists of high-ranking religious leaders or mullahs-under the new constitution, they will vet every law passed by parliament and ensure it is in line with the teachings of the Koran.
The idea of a council of Islamic Judges was first introduced in Iran's first Imperial Constitution in 1906, but it improved unworkable because it slowed up the decision-making process. It was abandoned when the former Shah seized power in 1921.