161. Telegram 331 From the Embassy in Iran to the Department of State1 2

Joint Embassy/USIS Message

Following on SAVAK disclosures January 16 re terrorist activities in Iran, U.S. Mission premises subjected to four bomb explosions during period 2035 to 2110 hrs local time January 17. Damage not rpt not serious: Two local guards suffered minor injuries.
Explosions occurred at (a) parking lot of commissary adjacent to Embassy compound at 2035 hrs, damage comprising two guards injured and approx $400 of broken windows: (b) truck parked outside commissary adjacent Embassy power plant at 02036 hrs, rear of truck suffered extensive damage: (c) Peace Corps headquarters into garden of which bomb lobbed at 2045 hrs, only minor damage: (d) IAS Cultural Center which damaged at 2110 hrs by bomb placed in shrubbery, damage estimated at $400 comprised 24 large window panes facing street and four interior panes.
Police are investigating and providing overnight protection [less than 1 line not declassified] has informed SAVAK. MFA has called to express regrets over incident.
  1. Source: National Archives, RG 59, Central Files 1970–73, POL 23–8 IRAN. Confidential; Immediate. In Telegram 365 from Tehran, January 19, MacArthur related some local Iranian interpretations of the bombings, including the suggestions that they were motivated by anti-capitalism and opposition to U.S. policy in the Middle East, or designed to demonstrate the dissidents’ power and contempt for SAVAK. (Ibid.) The day prior to the explosions, a SAVAK spokesman gave a public briefing announcing the arrest of 120 dissidents over the previous 10 months, including 60 members of the Iranian Liberation Organization (Siah Kal) jailed on charges of plotting to kidnap Iranian and foreign personalities during the 2500th Anniversary celebrations. The group was accused of having received training in Iraq and at Palestinian refugee camps in Lebanon. (Attachment to Donald Toussaint to Jack Miklos, February 11, 1972, NEA/IRN, Office of Iran Affairs, Lot File 75D410, Box 7, INT, Intelligence, General Iran, 1972.)
  2. Ambassador MacArthur reported that the U.S. mission premises in Tehran had been subjected to four bomb explosions but that damage was not serious.