150. Telegram 189359 From the Department of State to the U.S. Delegation to the 25th Centenary Celebration in Shiraz, Iran1 2


  • Bombing of Iranian ConGen in San Francisco
Iranian ConGen San Francisco was bombed October 14 at 11:30 p.m. Although no one was hurt, ConGen’s wife and children were in building when bomb went off. Very large amount of plastic explosive was used (equiv. 120 sticks of dynamite, four times larger than Capitol bomb), causing extensive fire damage to building and totally wrecking garage and ConGen’s car. Many windows in adjacent buildings shattered. Damage estimated at $500,000–$900,000, but could change in either direction. Mayor of San Francisco immediately made arrangements for all ConGen personnel to move into hotel.
Suspect was apprehended immediately after explosion; does not appear to be Iranian, however. Name: Kent Stephen Wells. FBI and Secret Service have no record of him as yet. SY is running name check; we will advise if anything further turns up.
Dept has arranged for additional protection for other Iranian official premises in US. This will include seven-man detail at Embassy where demonstration expected today and two-man detail over weekend. Embassy has received bomb threat by phone but EPS has so far found nothing.
In possibly related development, the Iran Student Association headquarters in Washington was subjected to very extensive fire damage ten p.m. October 14, or seven p.m. San Francisco time. The first presumption was that somebody was making a bomb and it went off prematurely. Although this is a possibility, the Metropolitan Police tend to discount it since no bodies or evidence of personal injuries were found. Metropolitan Police are operating on hypothesis ISA fire could have been caused either by SAVAK or by local Organization of Arab Students, with whom ISA have apparently been feuding in recent weeks. [Page 3] Nevertheless, if ISA in San Francisco jumped to conclusion DC fire was SAVAK’s work, they had four hours to organize riposte against ConGen.
Acting Assistant Secy Davies personally called Amb Afshar to express regrets. Ambassador is requested to convey the Secretary’s profound regrets to FonMin Khalatbari over this deplorable incident, along with assurances that protection other Iranian premises receiving priority attention. Local authorities have been asked to do their utmost to apprehend those responsible for San Francisco incident. Vice President may wish to make parallel representations to Shah.


  1. Source: National Archives, RG 59, Central Files 1970–73, POL 17 IRAN-US. Confidential; Immediate. Repeated Immediate to Tehran. Drafted by Timothy W. Childs (NEA/IRN); cleared by Davies, Michael J. Tretola (SY), Robert T. Curran (S/S), Charles D. Maguire (A/OPR), and Hampton Davis (S/CPR); and approved by Miklos. As indicated by its round-up of dissidents, the Iranian Government had anticipated terrorist acts during the celebrations, which had been broadly condemned by many Iranians as “expensive, unnecessary and tasteless.” (Stanley T. Escudero to Michael G. Michaud, Ibid., NEA/IRN, Office of Iran Affairs, Lot File 75D365, Box 7, POL 1, General Policy and Background, Iran 1972)
  2. The Department reported that a bombing at the Iranian Consulate General in San Francisco had left no casualties, and that a suspect had been immediately apprehended.