- Shots fired killing and wounding an estimated 200 people
Part 2 of Rojales based Mary Ivy Nell’s Exclusive interview with Andrew Atkinson continues about being caught up in the Iran revolution in 1978.
- Quote: ‘November 5, violence erupted once more in the capital. Police and armed troops seal off roads, to try to contain mobs smashing and burning embassies, banks, hotels, cinemas and restaurants’
MY husband and I stood on our roof and watched the procession pass by, while army helicopters circled low overhead, monitoring the scene, reflected Mary.
“Armed troops were very much in evidence, but the day passed peacefully.
“Four days later, on the 8th September, the scene in Jalleh Square was altogether different.
“This had been chosen as the next rallying point for a further demonstration and when troops moved in to disperse the crowds with teargas, things got out of hand.
“Shots were fired into the demonstrators, killing and wounding an estimated 200 people.
“Martial Law was declared a few hours later for a period of six months – life changed for everyone overnight.
“Although our social life was limited by the curfew, it’s surprising how quickly one adapts to new situations.
“Even the succession of strikes and the heavy censorship was accepted as part of our daily lives.
“Information Bulletins were issued from the American and British Embassies and we tuned in daily to the World Service of the BBC for additional news.
“On the morning of the 5th November, violence erupted once again in the capital.
“Police and armed troops began to seal off roads, to try to contain the mobs who were systematically smashing and burning embassies, banks, hotels, cinemas and restaurants.
“From the third floor office where I worked, we could see columns of black smoke in every direction.
“No one was quite sure what was happening in Tehran, and conflicting reports were coming in from our head office nearer the city centre.
“But by 3 pm it was decided that we should try to travel home, although the Iranian bus drivers were unwilling to be seen driving foreigners anywhere that day.
“Our apartment was a ten minute walk away and I was extremely relieved to arrive safely without incident.
“An hour later, that same road was a mass of broken glass as five banks and two small restaurants were smashed”
*Part 3 of a Leader Exclusive continues next week.
Caption: Demonstration during Iran Revolution.