After weeks of anti-shah protests by Iranian students in this country, signs of an angry backlash developed yesterday as Americans in four cities protested the occupation of the U.S. embassy in Tehran and the presence of Iranian students here.
In Columbia, S.C., the wife of a State Department employe being held captive in the U.S. embassy demonstrated in front of the statehouse.
"No one seems to be doing anyting, and my husband is overthere," said Angela Belk, 23, of West Columbia. Her husband, William, 43, works in the embassy's communications and records office.
About 60 to 65 Americans are being held in the embassy by Iranian students demanding the return of Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi for trial. The shah is being treated for cancer in New York.
In Springfield, Mass., about 20 angry city employes burned an Iranian flag on cityhall steps, calling it a symbolic gesture against the Iranian government. Said rally sponsor James Brock, "Since we cannot do it in American territory, hopefully some of us will get up enough gumption to do it on their ground, and burn their embassies."
Meanwhile, a small group of students at Oklahoma University in Norman braved drizzling rain to protest the embassy takeover.
And in Pittsburg, Kan., two Iranian students were attacked on the campus of Pittsburg State University by a man wearing a ski mask.
In Houston yesterday, about 60 Iranian students paraded through downtown demanding the return of the shah to their homeland.
There were no major distrubances.