INTRODUCTION: Hundreds of thousands of people attended the funeral ceremony in a Teheran Cemetery of 72 leading clergymen and politicians who were killed in the huge bomb blast at the Teheran Headquarters of the Islamic Republican Party (IRP) on Sunday (28 June).
GV & SEMI CU Ayatollah Ruhollal Khomeini speaking in Mosque. (2 SHOTS)
GV Crowds in mosque listening. (3 SHOTS)
SV, GV Funeral crowds bearing portraits of killed leaders. (2 SHOTS)
GV, SV Mullah speaking to crowd from balcony. (2 SHOTS)
GV, SV Mourners lining street. (3 SHOTS)
SV, GV Crowds surrounding moving funeral vehicles. (6 SHOTS)
SV, TV Crowds milling around funeral vehicles. (3 SHOTS)
CU Behzad Nabavi speaking at press conference.
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Background: INTRODUCTION: Hundreds of thousands of people attended the funeral ceremony in a Teheran Cemetery of 72 leading clergymen and politicians who were killed in the huge bomb blast at the Teheran Headquarters of the Islamic Republican Party (IRP) on Sunday (28 June). Meanwhile, Iran's spiritual leader the Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini accused leftist guerrillas of being responsible for the bomb attack.
SYNOPSIS: In a message to the mourners read on State radio the Ayatollah accused the Mujaheden-E-Khalq (People's Crusaders) Islamic-Marxist guerrilla group of being hired by "superpowers" to carry out the attack. The Ayatollah named a new chief justice to replace Ayatollah Mohammed Beheshti who was killed in the blast. He also ordered temporary replacements for the four cabinet ministers killed. The blast also killed 27 Majlis (Parliament) deputies. The funeral, in a dusty Teheran cemetery, was watched by hundreds of thousands of people. Mourners swarmed onto any transport they could find to Behesht-E-Zara Cemetery outside the capital. Emotions were reported high but generally controlled. Slogans chanted by mourners gave a final warning to anti-government and anti-clergy groups. The Majlis speaker Hojatoleslam Hashemi Rafsanjani hinted at a drive at so-called counter-revolutionaries.
A host of mourners bearing black flags, flowers and portraits of the dead leaders thronged into the streets around the Majlis building in central Teheran. The victims of Sunday's explosion were laid out in coffins before being driven in a fleet of ambulances to the cemetery. A loud, rhythmic pounding filled the streets as hundreds of thousands of men thumped their hearts with their right fists. They chanted the name of "Hussein...Hussein" the historic third leader of the Shi'ite Moslem Faith and also one of Ayatollah Beheshti's names. When the ambulances left for the graveyard men and women piled into coaches, cars and open trucks. They jammed every road to the cemetery with up to six people clinging to a single motorcycle in the funeral procession.
By the time the bodies were buried in white shrouds and without coffins, the State Radio said there were many millions of people at the cemetery. Government spokesman Behzad Nabavi spoke about the attack to newsmen.
He dismissed the claim of a little-known Iranian Group calling itself the Nationalist Equality Party that it carried out the attack. He said that Iran's big leftist groups probably arranged such claims to conceal their guilt. Whoever was responsible for Sunday's attack the bombing has demonstrated the sophistication and skills of the IRP's opponents and has plunged the country into a period of possible turmoil.