Cassette tape recordings made by Ayatullah Ruhollah Khomeini, which for years circulated clandestinely inside Iran, have become as vital as a daily newspaper for people who want to hear the very words of his policy statements.
In Tehran as well as in villages throughout the country, the cassettes can be bought at small bazaar shops and from vendors on the streets yelling "Khomeini tapes here!" The Ayatullah's recordings have become one of the few get-rich-quick ventures in Iran's shuttered economy. The tapes were mostly manufactured on recording machines in France and surreptitiously shipped to Iran.
Costing only about 200 each to make, they are sold on the streets for about $1.25. A distributor with the latest tape can make a neat profit of $50 a day. Excerpts from the Ayatullah's hit recordings:
If the religious leaders had been in power, they would not have allowed the Iranian nation to become the captive of the Americans and the British.
They would not have allowed the Iranian economy to be degraded and foreign goods to be imported without customs duties . . . They would not have allowed the parliament to be degraded to its present state . . . They would not have allowed boys and girls to embarrass one another and call it dancing . . . They would not have allowed males and females to go to school to gether . . . They would not have allowed innocent girls to be placed under the hands of men teachers in schools . . They would have punched the government in the mouth They would have prevented the American experts from taking advantage of us.
I am sorry to see that after striving for so many years differences have appeared among you. In all these years, I have managed to bring the mullahs and the bazaar shopkeepers closer to the university community. They must have unity in their ideals for them to succeed. Otherwise the foreigners will take advantage of them. When the foreigners see that in Iran people are becoming united, the interest of the Soviet Union and America will not be able to survive. If you believe in the campaign, you must be united. Otherwise you will be separated from your goal and that will benefit Carter. All of you must go under the flag of Islam, for without it we are nothing.
The people of Iran have reached a state where they have attracted the attention of the world. We have gained prestige in the world, from America to the Arabic countries. This is a miracle. I think it is a spiritual one. The hands of God are with you. If it wasn't the hand of God, the nation, from children to the elderly, would not have joined our campaign. Victory is near. Don't be afraid. The Prophet Muhammad spent most of his life struggling. Learn from the Prophet and be patient. He fought all his life to overcome oppression. And we have been doing it only a short time. But what are we afraid of? If we are killed we will go to heaven. And if we kill we will go to heaven. This is the logic of Islam because we are in the right.
Whom should I thank for all these problems plaguing us? ... L don't know whom to thank and whom to give my condolences, but I think I should be proud of the nation and its fight against oppressors.