Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, is one of his most angry outbursts since toppling the Shah, warned dissident politicians he would remove them from power if they continued to challenge Iran's Islamic authorities.
The ayatollah spoke after sporadic shooting and street fights broke out in central Tehran following a ban imposed by the prosecutor general on six newspapers, including the daily paper of President Abolhassan Bani- Sadr. The President swiftly condemned the ban as a move to impose a new dictatorship and called for demonstrations and resistance.
Ayatollah Khomeini mentioned no politicians by name, but political observers said the chief target appeared to be Mr. Bani-Sadr.
Witnesses reported fighting between supporters of the President and Islamic extremists near the Tehran Bazaar, which was partly closed, and the Turkish and British Embassies. They said Revolutionary Guards fired warning shots and tear gas to disperse demonstrators shouting support for Bani-Sadr. There were no reports of casualties.
Despite the ban of his newspaper, the President's supporters hurriedly circulated a four-page tabloid, called the Message of the President, free of charge. Its front page carried the full text of a speech President Bani- Sadr made in the western city of Hamadan. It said, in part: "In this moment there is no other way than to save the country but to resist. . . .
"The whole of Iran must resist this strong inclination toward dictatorship," he said, adding that the clergy-dominated authorities were trying to impose a syste m of suppression.