The Iranian Army broadened its show of force here yesterday in the aftermath of bloody antigovernment demonstrations. Foot patrols were deployed in the some side streets and in the usually crowded and colorful bazaar, which remains shut down.
As if anticipating demonstrations following the deaths of at least 100 protestors by rifle and submachine gun fire Friday, army troops with bayoneted automatic rifles fanned out into some narrow streets off bustling Jaleh Square, and other areas where disturbance have occurred.
Moslem tradition calls for expression of bereavement three and seven days after a death, and authorities were expected to intensify the military presence again Friday - the seventh day.
In many parts of the city, martial law had a benign appearance yesterday with the usual traffic jams clogging the streest and shoppers crowding the stores in the smog-covered central part of the city.
Residents of Tehran generally seemed unaffected by the imposition of seven decrees by Tehran martial law administrators, except for the 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. curfew, which cleared the streets over night. Under the law, army patrols are authorized to open fire it a curfew violator fails to obey the first command to halt.
No serious incidents were reported yesterday in the capital or in provincial cities, and the government continued to encourage the appearance of a city returned to normalcy following an aberration of social unrest.
The state-owned Iranian radio did not mention the disturbances in many of its news broadcasts, and the progovernment newspapers emphasized promises by Prime Minister Jaafar Sharif-Emami to launch an antirocrruption campaign and implement "political freedoms and social justice."
As if to underscore the pledge, the government announced that eight persons, including some former, government officials, had been arrested under broad anticorruption provisions of the martial law.
The officials included a former health and welfare minister, two of his deputies, the former director of rural and urban cooperatives, and several other former officials and businessmen.
The officials reportedly were involved in a government payoff scandel and were charged under a blanket martial law clause prohibiting the instigation of "discontent". Details of the charges were not made public.
The arrests came after Sharif-Emami conceded in a special to the lower house of Parliament that Iran's economic boom has "not been achieved without paying a price - chaos in the path of economic advance which in turn led to disruption of welfare programs."
"I must say frankly that the system of hiearchy in the country was such that it could not stop the chaos . . . if we do not fight corruption and the corrupt with the utmost speed and a sure hand . . . Iran will surely not get over its problem," the prime minister said.
He also outlined a 10-pint reaffirmation of the government's liberalization program, which he said would result in new "political freedoms and social justice."
The measure would permit some freedom of assembly and press freedom.
The current paradoxical mixture of continued marial law and the shah's liberlization plan presents the government with what appears to be a dilemma:
If it implements the reforms and revives the much-heralded "Tehran spring," - which for 13 days until Saturday somewhat relaxed restraints on freedom of assembly and the press - protestors may be encouraged to mount further demonstrations.
By the same token, the government cannot maintain martial law and at the same time implement the liberalization that is the correstone of the shah's vision of a new Iran. The two are seemingly incompatible.
The demonstrations led by the mullahs of Shiite Moslem leaders, who regarded the liberalization program as an affront to fundamental Islamic principles.
The fundamentalists were joined by leftist radicals, who used the religious issues to advance their own political griveances, and by increasing numbers of unemployed or low paid youths who became disillusioned with Iran's frenetic modernization program.
The program sprang from Iran's $22 billion-a-year-oil windfall, and since 1974 has evolved as a paternalistic concept for an economically utopian state, where illiteracy would decline, building would flourish and the people would gradually assume the responsibility of democracy under the protective umbreall of the monarchy.
When the dream failed to materialize in terms of social and economic advancement for the lower classes - and when signs of corruption within the priviledged class surfaced - a number of the disillusioned youths eagerly joined the religious protests to express their own frustrations.
While the government claims that outside Communists are behind the trouble, informed Western diplomatic sources, here discount that possibility.
The officials also dismissed suggestions that the shah's control of Iran is endangered, one noting that "chaos is too strong a word" and that "the basic substructure is there. The country just wants revolutionary change."
While Iranian government officials are refusing for the time being to even talk with foreign reporters about the unrest, diplomatic observers maintain that the shah has shown no evidence yet of having chosen between the alternatives of maintaining public order through continued martial law, or relaxing restrictions and risking further violence.
"How do they get out of it? They may have licked them (the protestors) physically, but when you let up the pressure, how do you get on the border line between loyal opposition and subversion. Loyal opposition is rather foreign to this area," said one Western diplomatic official.
Answering questions on ABC television last night, the shah said :
Last week's uprising in Iran were "quite amazing" to him and their impact was "unexpected."
The shah said that, "what scares us a little" is that the demonstration was "completely organized and controlled by international subversive organizations." He said that was clear "because it was so thorough, so methodical."
The shah scoffed at reports that elements of the army had indicated disloyalty to him. "How could it be possible?" he asked. "If it was so it would be the end of the country."
He said he would continue his program of revising land distribution and he said Iran will not reverse its policy on the sale of Iranian oil throughout the world, without attempts to restrict its distribution on political grounds.