Iranian calls Bani-Sadr new 'Shah'
Tehran, Iran — A prominent member of the party dominating the new Iranian parliament Thursday was quoted as comparing President Bani-Sadr to the deposed Shah of Iran. The Islamic Revolution newspaper, owned by the President, Thursday published a second purported tape of remarks by Hassan Ayat, a member of the pro-clergy Islamic Republican Party's Central Committee, which favors spy trials for the US hostages.
The IRP politician charged Mr. Bani-Sadr with being pro-American and behaving more and more like the Shah. He said the President was toeing the US line by wanting the release of the 53 hostages, the paper said.
Wednesday the paper published a transcription of the first tape, which said Dr. Ayat was behind a plan for an upheaval in the universities aimed at discrediting Mr. Bani-Sadr and reducing him to figurehead status.
The IRP Thursday denied responsibility for the remarks by Mr. Ayat, saying they were "his personal view and in no way the view of the IRP."
Meanwhile, Mr. Bani-Sadr named a new chief of the joint staff of Iran's armed forces Thursday as part of a top-level military shake-up. Gen. Muhammad Hadi Shadmehr, who took up the joint staff post last December, was replaced by Gen. Valiollah Falahi, commander of the ground forces, the Pars News Agency reported. The new ground forces commander will be Gen. Qasem Ali Zahir-Nejad, who will serve concurrently as head of the police. Pars also reported that Col. Javad Fakouri will be the new Air Force chief, in place of Gen. Amir Bahman Bagheri, who resigned several weeks ago.