Iran's authorities, who yesterday ordered the closing of the independent newspaper Ayandegan, have kept up pressure on the press by sending warning letters to two other newspapers and preparing for the trial of the Ayandegan staff.
The newspapers receiving the warning letters were the leftist daily Peygham Emrouz and the independent daily Bamdad. Beygham Emrouz had already suspended publication, effective today, after receiving an unsigned notethreatening to burn down its offices and print works.
The letters were sent by the public prosecutor's office, which had ordered the Revolutionary Guards to close Ayandegan, and officials from that office today disclosed that staff members arrested at the time may face trial.
The guards detained at least 11 members of the staff of the paper, which was charged with spreading discord within the nation and the armed forces, and of having connections with Israel and the government of the deposed shah.
Those arrested initially were taken to Qasr prison near the center of the capital, but Ayandegan staff members today said they had been moved to the top-security Evin prison.
The officials in the prosecutor's office said the innocent would be set free but the others will face trial by revolutionary courts. The charges against them were not specified.
The action against the press followed a Revolutionary Council meeting held Sunday and Monday to discuss press coverage. The Council has just approved the draft of a new press law that is due to be published and put into effect on Sunday.
The provisions of the law are understood to include jail sentences of between six months and 2 1/2 years for anyone writing articles considered insulting to Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, the clergy, Islamic principles and tenets, or the future president and prime iminister of the Islamic republic.
Action against the press is building. Khomeini today took up the call for an end to strikes and obstruction of the government, which has been a constant theme of Prime Minister Mehdi Bazargan in his efforts to bolster the fragile authority of the provisional government.
The ayatollah's statement, broadcast by Iran radio, strongly condemned the strikes and labor unrest that continue to cripple a large proportion of Iranian industries.
Echoing Bazargan's complaints about social anarchy, Khomeini said, "We see and hear of strike after strike, sit-in after sit-in, demonstration after demonstration and rumormongering after rumormongering, and every effort is being made to weaken the government."
Using religious arguments where Bazargan's appeals to reason have failed, Khomeini said the strikes against the shah had pleased God, but now that the government was Islamic and national, such actions would "displease God and are considered a major sin."
In the meantime, there were further demonstrations today in the northwestern town of Orumieh, where soldiers marched yesterday to protest the executions of a colonel and a sergeant major who were accused of killing people who were demonstrating against the shah.
According to Iranian press reports, the head of the revolutionary court that passed the sentence fled town after a warrant was issued for his arrest.
Soldiers of the 64th Division, stationed at Orumeih, are said to be demanding that those responsible for the executions be turned over to a military tribunal for trial. If this does not occur the soldiers, who have been deployed in recent weeks against Kurdish groups farther south, apparently are threatening not to intervene in any trouble inside or outside # the town.
Executions continued elsewhere in Iran today when two members of the shah's police force went before firing squads at dawn in the Caspian resort town of Babol.
In another incident, one of Iran's most prominent industrialists, Ahmad Ladjevardi, 59 was shot down outside his Tehran home by youths who escaped on motorcycles.
He was rushed to a hospital and underwent surgery to remove the bullets, but his condition afterward was described as critical.
The official Pars news agency later reported that the shooting had been claimed by Forqan, an organization that portrays itself as Islamic fundamentalist. The group also claimed several earlier assassinations and attempted killings.
In the southeast province of Baluchistan, a university professor and two teachers were killed by unidentified gunmen while apparently on their way to help with a village development scheme. Two students were injured in the attack.