Iranian telecommunications workers demonstrating here yesterday to demand the explusion of American employes forced at least 30 Bell workers from a downtown building in the latest incident of mounting anti-Western sentiment accompanying the country's current unrest.
According to American employes involved, scores of Iranian workers of the Telecommunications Company of Iran gathered at three office buildings where personnel of American Bell Telephone Corp., have been working under a contract potentially worth $800 million over 10 years to improve and expand Iran's telecommunications system.
A U.S. official said "a little scuffling" occurred at the communications building but there were no injuries. The Iranians demanded that the American employes get out and not return, and the offices were evaculated.
Residents said it was the clearest example so far of antiforeign demands by dissatisfied Iranian workers being translated into action. In recent weeks the employes of several American firms have received anonymous death threats and thousands of Americans and other Westerners have left the country.
The apparently growing popular feeling against Americans and Britons stems from political hostility to their governments' support for Shah Mohammed Reza Pahlavi. There is also resentment because of the generally higher salaries earned by foreigners here.
According to Iranian telecommunications workers' yesterdays' protest action arose from these two elements.
[The State Department yesterday in Washington declared that the "emergency situation" in Iran is "fully apparent" and refrained from criticizing the government for recent arrests of political leaders.]
[Department spokeswoman Jill Schuker said that arrests of political leaders is generally "regrettable," but she made no specific reference to Iran.]
American Bell executives and employes gave conflicting accounts of yesterday's incident. Executives tended to play it down, saying it involved 30-to-40 Americans at one building. They said the U.S. employes left their offices and went home to avoid a confrontation, and that the dispute was later resolved.
The company did not alert the U.S. Embassy about the incident.
On the other hand, American Bell workers said similar incidents took about 200 Americans were involved. They said there had been no settlement of the Iranian workers' demands.
The expulsion of foreign employes has been one of several demands by striking Iranian telecommunications workers who walked off their jobs last month. Their basic demands for higher pay were settled and they returned to work.
Striking Iranian workers in other industries, notably oil and copper mining, have also insisted that expatriate employes go home. In a copper mining complex now under construction at Sarcheshmeh in southeastern Iran, foreign workers including American personnel of the Parsons-Jurden and the Anaconda companies have received anonymous leaflets threatening them. A strike has brought work to a standstill at the $1.4 billion project.
Foreign technicians in the oil fields and refinery in southwestern Iran have received similar threats. Striking Iranian oil workers have called for dismissal of the foreign workers in a list of political demands that military authorities refuse to grant.
During the height of the recent disturbances that led the shah to install a military government and tighten martial law regulations, Americans in Tehran worried over an anonymous leaflet addressed to them. Referring to the shah, the leaflet said, "While all liberal people condemn this execu-