Bonn — Abholhassan Bani-Sadr, Iran's fugitive former President, said in an interview published Sunday that he will return home in a few months to depose Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, the religious and revolutionary leader.
Mr. Bani-Sadr, who has taken refuge in Paris, told Der Spiegel, the West German newsmagazine, he sees no chance of survival for the "religious dictatorship" in Iran because it is incapable of organizing the country.
He said: "The citizens who withheld their votes in the last presidential election are my people. The armed forces are on my side, and most intellectuals are behind me. What must be prevented is that the change takes on a bloody form." Asked if he intended to bring about the downfall of Ayatollah Khomeini in Iran, the former President said: "Yes."
Bani-Sadr asserted that only 15 percent of the Iranian people supported the ayatollah, but he said this was enough to keep him in power with the help of "repressive measures." He said he turned down offers from the Iranian military to help him take power because a coup d'etat was only nece ssary if one did not believe in the power of the masses.