Ayatollah Ruhollah Komeini ordered a general mobilization of Iran's security forces today to crush a rebellion in the Kurdish provincial capital of Sanadaj, but the governor general of the city said there was no revolt.
The state radio borke into its afternoon news bulletin to broadcast the mobilization order, which gave the nation's armed forces an hour to set up an "air bridge" to transport troops, police and Revolutionary Guards to Sanandaj.
The radio said the city's military garrison had been besieged and that unless reinforcements reached Sanandaj within half an hour the Kurds would seize all the arms in the barracks.
But the governor of Kurdistan, Mohammed Rashid Shakiba, contacted by telephone in Sanandaj, said the radio reports were "a complete fabrication" and there was total calm in Sanandaj.
"I wish Ayatollah Khomeini would contact me first to find out the true situation before he issues orders for a mobilization on the basis of lies," Shakiba said.
He said there had been one minor disturbance in the city today and it had not led to any violence.
"Three truckloads of Revolutionary Guards were disarmed and prevented from leaving Sanandaj by people in the city," he said.
Kurdish sources in Sanandaj agreed with the governor's statement that the city was calm.
The Kurdish Democratic Party, which the radio reported was laying siege to the garrison, said it had no knowledge of any such action.
The party, which has been fighting for autonomy for Iran's 4 million Kurds, was banned yesterday by Ayatollah Khomeini. It was accused by the government of being involved in Kurdish rebellion in the town of Paveh that was quelled Saturday after Khomeini had ordered the armed forces to crush it within 24 hours.
The government also nullified the election of the party's secretary general, Abdurahman Qassemiu, to the assembly of experts reviewing Iran's draft constitution that opened its work in Tehran today.
Khomeini yesterday called for banning the party, saying the party was "like poison to the helth of the revolution."
"Their activities should be stopped, their publications banned and no trace of them should be left in the country," he said.
Eleven Kurds who were captured when government forces recaptured Paveh were executed this morning.
The revolt in Paveh was put down after Jurdish positions there were pounded by Iranian Air Force Phantom jets and helicopter gunships yesterday.
Khomeini then ordered government forces to arrest and punish all Kurds who attempted to flee. He also ordered the nearby border with Iraq closed so that "the rebels cannot flee abroad."
The target for the security forces shifted with Khomeini's call for mobilization today.
"Information has been received that in Sanandaj the Democratic Party has laid siege to the military and their institutions and if help is not sent to them within half an hour, their arms will be captured." the state radio quoted Khomeini as saying.
"I give absolute orders to all law and order forces to proceed to their military bases and then move towards Sanandaj with sufficient strength to pound the rebels severly," the broadcast continued. "Revolutionary Guards in any locality should move toward Sanadaj in sufficient numbers and all of Kurdistan should be mobilized through an air bridge.
"Delay even by one hour will be considered shirking one's duty and will be severly punished. I expect that within half an hour I should get information of a general mobilization from the law and order forces," Khomeini's directive concluded.
The radio suspended its normal program and broke into revolutionary songs after the mobilization order.
The announcement caused wild scenes in Tehran, where feeling has been running high for the past two days against the Kurds. There were demonstrations at the prime minister's office demanding that the government crush the insurgents.
At the central barracks for Revolutionary Guards in the city, hundreds of militiamen "hijacked" passing vehicles and demanded to be taken to Sanandaj.
By tonight, however, the state radio and television newscasts dropped any mention of a siege at the Sanandaj garrison, and said only that the mobilization had been ordered because of "hostilities in Sanandaj."
The state news agency said that counterrevolutionaries had stoned Army personnel carriers and Revolutionary Guards at a square in Sanandaj. Three personnel carriers, two tanks and a number of Revolutionary Guards were surrounded by the rebels, the agency said.
The insurgents seized the guards' weapons, including rifle-propelled grenades, mortars, artillery pieces and antitank milliles, it said. The agency added that several Revolutionary Guards and Army personnel were seriously injured in the incident.