Despite recent attacks on dissidents, three suppressed Iranian political parties have formally revived the National Front, a nationalist coalition that opposed Shah Mohammed Reza Pahlavi two decades ago.
Announcing its formation under the name Union of the National Front Forces, the group said last month that it sought to end "dictatorship" in Iran and "restore individual freedoms and the collective rights of the people and to honor human rights."
Leaders of the Front said they have been encouraged by President Carter's human rights campaign. They refused to criticize U.S. silence on alleged human rights violations here, because they said they did not want to appear dependent on foreign influence.
During the shah's visit to Washington last month, Iranian students protesting human rights violations here staged large demonstrations and fought with police and supporters of the shah.
After the shah's return a number of dissident meetings were attacked by men widely believed to be government agents.
In an interview last week, Front leader Dariush Foruhar vowed to continue meetings despite government hints that there would be more attacks by club-wielding mobs allegedly made up of pro-shah factory workers. The Front has asserted that the men are in reality "Imperial Ranger Guards and SAVAK commandos." SAVAK is the secret police.
Foruhar called for a return to constitutional monarchy and the nationalization of major private industries.
The 47-year-old lawyer, who said he has spent 15 of the last 20 years in prison without trial for his political activities, wore a bandage on his head from a slubbing he received Nov. 22 when a mob broke up a dissident gathering outside Tehran. He said the party he leads, the Iranian Nationalist Party, has more than 5,000 members and is the largest in the new coalition. The others are the Iran Party and the Society of Iranian Socialists.
While technically legal, the parties are not officially recognized under a single-party system decreed by the shah in 1975, when he formed the Rastakhiz (Resurgence) Party, and they do not have wide influence.