Regime tightens its security

Instead of assassinating high-level Iranian officials these days, the Mujahideen-e Khalq are taking aim at lower-level figures. But the guerrillas' switch in tactics may not have been a matter of their choosing.

''They have been forced to do so,'' says a European diplomat. ''The regime is now seriously protecting its officials.''

Only a year ago heavily armed bodyguards could be seen everywhere, but they proved to be ineffective. Today things are done more discretely and efficiently.

Western intelligence sources confirm that Soviet security officers came to Tehran, though for a limited period. Even some of those who were in charge of security for the late Shah are said to have been pressed into service.

Mullahs rarely travel any more except in the armored Mercedes they inherited from the Shah's regime. They are said to have ordered 200 armored Alfa Romeos from Italy.

President Sayed Ali Khamenei, having been seriously injured in one assassination attempt, is said to change his schedule twice a day. At the opening of the Tehran International Trade Fair he showed up two hours late and entered by a side door.

The Revolutionary Guards are more conscious of security. Their barracks and committee buildings have become bunkers, but guerrillas often infiltrate accomplices.

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