TEHRAN, Dec. 11, 1978 (UPI) - An estimated two million demonstrators marched through the streets of Tehran to drumbeats today, condemning President Jimmy Carter and Shah Mohammed Reza Pahlavi. There were no reports of violence. "This is bigger than yesterday, much bigger," said one protester here. It could not be determined if today's crowd was bigger than the 1.5 million people who took part in an eight-hour demonstration against the regime yesterday.
"Yesterday many people were afraid to come out, or they didn't know where to go, but now we're getting the whole city."
As in yesterday's demonstration, organizers kept a tight rein on security and the throng marching to an insistent drumbeat was peaceful.
The demonstrators were friendly for the most part. All were in their best clothes, the women doffing drab black cotton veils for black lace chadors.
Marshals from the National Front, the shah's political opposition, attempted to weed out young leftists shouting "death to the shah" from the rest of the crowd.
"These are provocative slogans," said one marshal. "That kind of slogan could spark a confrontation with the army. The shah knows what we think of him and if he counts our heads he'll know what we want him to do.
"We condemn the American nation for its silence on Carter's support for the shah," said one demonstrator. Others quoted articles from the Iranian constitution guaranteeing freedom of speech and press.
The latest of the more than 400 wives and children of US military personnel stationed in Iran to return to the United States arrived today at McGuire Air Force Base in New Jersey, relieved to have escaped the growing tension in the riot-torn Moslem nation.
An Air Force C-141, with 94 Americans from Iran, landed at 2:15 a.m. today and another C-141, bearing 45 Americans, arrived at 4:35 a.m. Two flights yesterday brought back 263 US citizens who had been living in Iran under a growing threat of death.
Altogether, 407 dependents of American servicemen arrived at McGuire Air Force Base on the four flights. The first, a TWA 707 charter, arrived earlier yesterday.
As the procession turned into a small square containing a statue of the shah, some demonstrators began screaming, "Pull it down, pull it down." Marshals quickly intervened and kept the parade moving.
Women distributed white goat cheese, bread and apples to the marchers and apartment dwellers along the parade route dropped hoses from their windows to provide makeshift water fountains.
On Eisenhower Boulevard, mullahs performed the ritual sacrifice of a small goat.
Young girls in ankle-length black veils and youths with dust in their hair - a sign of deep mourning - carried flowing triangular flags in green, the Islamic color, in red for the Moslem martyrs and in black for general mourning for ancient Shiite saints and anti-shah demonstrators killed in recent clashes with the army.
"Victory is close," many shouted. "We have Allah's blessings."
Today's activities include self-flagellation rites climaxing Moharram, Shiite Islam's holiest time of mourning.
A Tehran clergy spokesman said tens of thousands of devotees would gather at the downtown residence of Ayatollah Sayed Mahmoud Talaghani. "No one know what will happen after the protest," he said.
The self-flagellation rites, although allowed by the military in a last-minute reversal, "have been overshadowed by people's preoccupation with the political fight," the spokesman said, referring to the year-old campaign to topple Shah Mohammed Reza Pahlavi.
The violence resulting from that campaign has meant hundreds of deaths and paralysis of the economy and Iran's vital oil industry.
Yesterday was the first full-scale public denunciation of the United States and Iran's other western allies, capping a harrowing spell of anti-foreign feeling that triggered the evacuation of Americans, Europeans and other foreigners this week.
"Criminal Americans get lost," read one banner in English. "The American President should understand from the demonstration that he is the most hated of all," said one slogan.
Placards said, "US imperialists pull out of Iran."
The well-organized procession lasted eight hours. Thousands of volunteers wearing white armbands controlled the flow of traffic, greatly thinned as the entire city shut down.
Troops maintained a low profile and only a few kept vigil in rooftops of some buildings. Army helicopters buzzed over the heads of the demonstrators who responded by shaking their fists into the sky.
Military authorities blocked all access to the shah's palace and the capital's posh northern quarter, which houses most foreign residents, as a precaution against a repetition of November attacks on foreigners and international hotels.
Tehran's Mehrabad Airport, closed since late Saturday, was not scheduled to reopen until tomorrow morning. The pace of the disrupted evacuation of foreigners and Iranians could well depend on how the situation evolved today, Western diplomats said.
The peacefulness of yesterday's march was a relief to many but, as one political observer said, "The point is this peaceful march contributes nothing to ending the civil strife. If anything, it gave the opposition the chance to prove its organization."
Dr. Karim Sanjabi, whose national Front political party organized the march, hailed the marchers as a "great human sea" that "demonstrated (its) decision to put an end to this regime of dictatorship, of despotism and of corruption."