TEHRAN, Nov. 4, 1978 (UP) - Troops opened fire on 6,000 students who tried to demolish a statue of the shah Saturday, killing five persons and injuring several others in the bloodiest riot in Tehran in two months.
A series of politically motivated strikes spread to gasoline stations and the telecommunications company, but Iran's oil industry, nearly paralyzed by a walkout, reportedly was back up to a third of its normal daily output.
The strikes and anti-government street demonstrations have put Iran under the greatest open pressure since Shah Mohammed Reza Pahlavi came to power 37 years ago.
Witnesses said thousands of students who gathered at Tehran University for an anti-shah protest went on a rampage through the downtown area, attacking banks, shops and government buildings and setting fire to at least six cars.
The slogan-shouting students then tried to destroy a statue of the shah near the university, but troops and riot police ordered them to stop, used fire hoses and blank shots and finally opened fire with bullets.
The five deaths reported by Iranian television was the highest death toll in an Tehran riot since the "Bloody Friday" massacre by Iranian troops Sept. 8 that killed and injured hundreds of persons.
Security units had to use teargas grenades to disperse another group of anti-government demonstrators in an area near the university that is the site of many government offices.
Brief Radio Iran broadcasts reported anti-government demonstrations in other towns, but gave no further details.
On the oil workers strike, the Kayhan newspaper reported Iran's crude oil production inched up to 2 million barrels a day, more than a third of the 6.5 million barrels a day Iran normally produces at this time of the year.
"Clusters of workers" have returned to work, the newspaper said, quoting a spokesman of the National Iranian Oil Co. The spokesman did not say how many of the nation's 30,000 oil workers had returned to work.
The world's largest integrated refinery at Abadan, in southern Iran, processed some 400,000 barrels Friday and officials were trying to push it up by another 100,000 barrels, still short of its 600,000 barrel-a-day capacity, it said.
The refineries in Tehran, Tabriz and Kermanshah were working at normal capacity and only the Shiraz refinery remained shut down, the Kayahn newspaper reported.