Iranians demonstrated against U.S. and Israeli policies in a number of cities around the world yesterday, but elsewhere Moslems appeared to have largely ignored Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini's call Wednesday for worldwide protest marches.
In Tehran, hundreds of thousands of Iranians gathered to demonstrate. The highlight of the day was the presentation of the former Israeli Embassy to representatives of the Palestine Liberation Organization to serve as the "Embassy of Palestine."
At the Vatican, St. Peter's Basilica was temporarily closed when a group of Iranian demonstrators paraded in St. Peter's Square and scuffled with bystanders. Police arrested 22 of the demonstrators, who said they were seeking the support of Pope John Paul II for the 192 Iranians who had been jailed in the United States until last Tuesday.
In Beirut, about 25 Iranian students demonstrated in front of the U.S. Embassy. Syrian peacekeeping troops in armored personnel carriers moved in to protect the embassy compound overlooking the Mediterranean but there were no reports of violence. The Syrians are the main component of an Arab league force policing the armistice that ended the 1975-76 Lebanese civil war.
In the Philippines, Manila police broke up a demonstration and arrested 13 of about 150 Iranians who had gathered to protest.
Khomeini, in a speech Wednesday denouncing the United States and the Israeli decision to make all of Jerualem the country's permanent capital, called on Moslems throughout the world to stage protests today, which is the last day of the Moslem holy month of Ramadan.