Iran has dispatched an assassination squad to kill the deposed shah of Iran, the chief of the country's revolutionary courts said yesterday.
Ayatollah Sadegh Khalkhali said he had dispatched members of his rightwing Fedaye Moselm organization to kill Mohammad Reza Pahlavi and members of his family, special correspondent Nicholas Cumming-Bruce reported.
The assassination team apparently is on its way to the Bahamas. From there it is to go on to Mexico, where the deposed monarch has just taken up residence in Cuernavaca.
After the U.S. Senate recently passed a resolution condemning the new Iranian government's political executions, Khalkhali called on "all free nations of the world to kill the shah as quickly as possible."
Meanwhile , Iran's unofficial head of state, Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, said in a broadcast speech that the country's new constitution must be approved quickly by a small assembly, not a large constitutional convention favored by "Westernized intellectuals."
Khomeini lumped the intellectuals with "mercenaries and those who want to bring back the old regime."
"Beware, this is not the day to discuss problems in the army, the ministries, the [revolutionary] committees, the courts," he said. "At a time when the constitution is being brought to the people's attention for discussion, to talk of these problems is either a conspiracy or else it is done out of ignorance."
Many Iranians favor a full-scale constitutional convention to study the draft of the new charter, which is expected to be released in a few days. Khomeini wants to "put a quick end to the whole thing" by having a 75 member body approve it without protracted discussions before a referendum is held to approve it.