Sen. Edward M. Kennedy (D-Mass.) received the kind of front-page attention here today that every politician dreams of -- but the headlines in Iran's Persian-language press probably will not help his presidential campaign.
Coming onto the story a day late, Ettelaat, an afternoon daily, gave Kennedy's San Francisco statement attacking the deposed shah of Iran for stealing billions of dollars from this country a banner headline. The story itself was a straight report, based on information supplied by American wire services.
Another paper, Bamdad, also gave the story front-page treatment under a two-column head.
But the newspaper of Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, the Islamic Republic, buried the story with a few paragraphs on page 11 that ended with a reminder that Kennedy only a few days before his attack on the shah had called Iran's allies, the Palestinians, terrorists.
Radical students who are holding 50 hostages in the American Embassy here took only a slight interest in the story. They did, however, call Reuter news agency this morning to ask for the full story to be read to them.
The story first broke here Tuesday in the English-language Tehran Times, the day after Kennedy's speech. Again the report was completely straight and based on American news agency accounts.
Kennedy's speech made one of the major points of the students holding the U.S. Embassy -- that the shah plundered the country for his own gain and ran one of the most violent regimes the world has ever known.
The State Department later attacked Kennedy, saying his speech makes it harder for the United States to get the hostages freed. But Kennedy in another speech on Tuesday said Iran must know that the United States cannot be blackmailed but that it is not blind to the abuses of the shah.
That second speech has not yet been reported here.
Kennedy's picture was flashed on Iranian television tonight but the story was not about his speech. Instead it told how President Carter is narrowing the gap between them in their fight for the Democratic nomination for the presidency.