El Al Office Destroyed by Rampaging Mobs in Teheran

Rampaging mobs in Teheran, opposed to the Shah, devastated the El Al office there, according to reports reaching the air line’s headquarters here today. There were no reports of casualties. El Al officials said that flights to Teheran will continue as long as the airport remains open.

The El Al office was located in the modern part of the city. The one or two policemen guarding it were unable to stem the mob which, according to the report, destroyed the office completely. The disturbances continued today and appeared directed against all foreign establishments. The main building of the British Embassy was set on fire as were scores of government offices and international hotels. Foreigners were attacked and beaten, including reporters.

The uprising against the Shah’s regime by a combination of students, left-wing elements and Moslem religious zealots did not appear to single out Israeli targets. But concern mounted here, nevertheless, for the safety of the Iranian Jewish community, numbering some 80,000, mostly in Teheran.

CONCERN OVER IRANIAN JEWS

In a rare newspaper report on Iran-related events, Yediot Ahronot today front-paged Israeli concern, adding that some of the wealthier Iranian Jews had made arrangements to send their children out of the country, as have other well-off people in the strife-torn country.

The Yediot report noted that preparations had been made here in Israel to absorb any sudden, large-scale immigration of Jews from Iran, but to date not many Iranian Jews have availed themselves of the aliya option. There is concern here, too, over the strategic implications of the weakening of the Shah’s regime, not to speak of the fear of its overthrow by radical Moslem forces.

Over the weekend the Ministry of Energy stated officially that there need be no fear in Israel of oil shortages as a result of the oil workers’ strike in Iran. It was noted that Israel has in storage large quantities of fuel that may last for several months. This was the first time a State ministry had officially acknowledged a link between Israel and Iran on the oil-supply level.

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