Iran Street Fighting Worsens; Leader Warns of 'Dictatorship'

TEHRAN--Perhaps as many as 21 people died in street fighting in Iran yesterday, as the government of Prime Minister Shahpour Bakhtiar ran into new problems in its attempts to restore order.

Government troops fought with protesters in the streets of Dezful, an oil-producing town in western Iran, while sources reported that guerillas have crossed the border from Iraq and are attacking outlying towns.

"Because of the chaos, the nation is headed for a new type of dictatorship," Bakhtiar said in a televised address last night.

Bakhtiar's chances of consolidating his control over the country declined sharply yesterday when Ayatullah Khomeini, the exiled spiritual leader of the Iranian Moslem community, refused to meet with one of Bakhtiar's envoys in Paris.

Khomeini reportedly still maintains that the present government, which was appointed by Shah Mohammed Reza Pahlavi before he left the country for a presumed exile in the United States, is illegal. Khomeini has issued a call for his supporters to abolish Bakhtiar's government and form a Moslem spiritual republic.


Khomeini also rejected an appeal from President Carter on Wednesday, in which he asked the religious leader to give the new government "a chance to succeed."