Iranian Prime Minister Mehdi Bazargan today spoke out angrily against criticism of his government complaining that it was powerless to deal the issues that confront it.
His speech was the latest in a series of vitriolic exchanges in recent days with prominent figures identified with Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini's Revolutionary Council.
In statements that reveal a deepening rift between the prime minister and members of the Revolutionary Council, Bazargan charged that his Cabinet's authority had been undermined and its advice ignored.
"The provisional government is in a position where everything is wanted from it," Bazargan said. "At the same time, all facilities have been taken away from us and we do not have any power."
Bazargan had been subjected only the previous day to a scathing attack by the economic adviser to the Revolutionary Council, Abolhassan Bani Sadr, who asserted that the government was disintegrating and that it had to be uprooted and replaced.
In another sign of the prime minister's waning influence on policy, plans were announced today to purge the civil service of what was described as "corrupt and surplus staff."
Bazargan has argued for months in favor of ending such revolutionary purges in a bid to restore some stability to government and public administration.
In another measure that appears to reflect the influence of the Revolutionary Council more than of Bazargan, Acting Education Minister Mohammed Ali Rajayi announced the nationalization of all schools for the next year on an experimental basis. He said he hoped the change would become permanent.
Rajayi said there was no room for private education in a monotheistic society and that Islam did not permit the existence of private schools in which education was monopolized by the rich.
In a separate, less controversial development, the government banned cultivation of the opium poppy in a bid to curb the booming domestic and international trade in Iranian opium and heroin.
Since Iran's revolution, cultivation of the poppy is estimated to have more than doubled, yielding massive stocks of opium, of which only about one-third is considered likely to remain in Iran.
Meanwhile, in a gesture likely to increase the uneasiness of Iran's neighborns in the Persain Gulf, a senior Iranian clergyman, Ayatollah Hossein Ali Montazeri, has sent a note to Kuwaiti authorities protesting their treatment of Khomeini's special representative, Abbas Mehri, and his son, Ahmad Khomeini, both Moslem clergymen.
The representative was arrested eight days ago for delivering what were judged to be political as well as religious speeches to mosque audiences, and he was barred from continuing such activity.
Montazeri, who is believed to be a member of the Revolutionary Council, had warned the leaders of neighboring Moslem states that Iran would export its revolution to counter plots against its Islamic republic and asserted that they would have no power to resist.
Montazeri advised Gulf rulers to "take a lesson from the fate that confronted leaders of Iran" and urged them to attend to the needs of their people.