A column of 200 government troops smashed through Kurdish rebel lines today in an attempt to relieve a besieged garrison here, as a Kurdish leader promised "all-out-war" to make the Kurds' autonomy minded province "the graveyard" of Iran's Islamic government.
Helicopter gunships, jets, tanks rockets and heavy artillery have figured in the fight that began here Thursday, and parts of Saqqez were in ruins today.
The city's one hospital was packed with wounded and dying.
There was no estimate of casualities, believed to be high on both sides. Most of the civilians who could get out had fled.
State radio issued an urgent appeal for doctors and nurses to volunteer to fly to the area, in a valley in western Iran. It said the garrison and the town were in need of medical help.
Abdurahman Qassemlu, secretary general of the banned leftist-oriented Kurdish Democratic Party's Central Committee, said in an interview in the town of Mahabad that "there are 100,000 armed Kurdish men who are willing to die for their ideals."
"We will make Kurdistan the graveyard of the reactionary regime," he vowed. "We know the central government is not as strong as it pretends to be. Wait till we start an all-out war and then the Tehran government will realize what revolutionary potential the Kurdish people have."
He said there will be new battles throughout Kurdistan. He said the Kurds have already began executing Revolutionary Guardsmen in retaliation for executions of Kurds.
The 4 million Kurds in Iran, together with 8 million other Kurds in Iraz and Turkey, long have dreamed of an independent state. In Iran, Kurdish leaders had hoped for autonomy after the revolution led by religious leader Ayatollah Ruhollan Khomeini toppled Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi last winter.
But open fighting has broken out between Kurds and the new rulers, and Khomeini has mobilized the armed forces to crush the rebellion.
In a speech delivered Friday and broadcast today over state radio from the city of Qom, Khomeini denounced "democrats and intellectuals," and accused them of responsibility for the problems in Kurdistan. He said they "want to give away the country under the guise of democracy."
The 79-year-old religious leader said, "When democrats talk about freedom, they are inspired by the superpowers. They want to lead out youth to places of corruption." If that is what they want, he added, "Then yes, we are reactionaries.
"You who want prostitution and freedom in every matter are intellectuals. You consider corrupt morality as freedom, prostitution as freedom," he said, adding later:
"Those who want freedom, want the freedom to have bars, brothels, casinos, opium etc. But we want our youth to carve out a new period in history. We do not want intellectuals."
The ayatollah, who addressed a crowd Friday to make the end of the Moslem fasting month of Ramadan, referred to himself by the new title of $2 ololamr . In Koranic terms, this means a religious leader who is competent to judge all matters and whose orders it is a religious duty to obey.
"We have freed the nation and of course we cannot give that sort of freedom that leads to corruption and destruction," the ayatollah said.
Qassemlu, in the interview with the Associated Press, said the Kurds are prepared for a "long, drawn-out war. We will not let the war be limited to Saqqez. Over the next few days, we are going to expand our confrontations with the government forces all over Kurdistan."
He also said the basic Kurdish demands -- autonomy for Kurdistan, release of Kurdish hostages, an end to executions of Kurds and withdrawal of all regular forces and Islamic guards from Kurdistan -- have now been expanded.
"We now demand democracy for all of Iran, freedom for all political parties and guaranteed freedom for the press," he said.
He said four Islamic guards were executed Friday in retaliation for the execution of Kurds taken prisoner in earlier fighting, and he threatened to execute one guard for every Kurd shot by Islamic revolutionary authorities.
He said the Kurds are holding 150 captured Revolutionary Guards.
The state radio reported revolutionary tribunals had executed nine men today in the Kurdish town of Marivan, 62 miles south of Saqqez.
Elsewhere in Iran, four men were executed by Islamic revolutionary tribunals for attacking and killing people demonstrating last year against the shah's rule, bringing the total executed since February to 460.
In the central town of Bakhar, a 70-year-old man and a 75-year-old woman were given 100 lashes each in public for committing adultery. The man also got one year in jail, press reports said.