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Last Updated: Tuesday, 17 June, 2003, 12:55 GMT 13:55 UK
Iran papers mull US remarks
Iranian policemen arrest two protesters during an anti-government protest in Tehran,
Tehran has seen seven nights of protests

President George W Bush's remarks on the demonstrations in Iran are not well received in parts of the country's press, with suggestions that his intervention has backfired.

Some conservative papers reject the idea that the unrest is due solely to American machinations and urge efforts to tackle social ills, while reformist outlets call for a crackdown on pro-clergy vigilantes and welcome police admissions of their mistakes.

At last, the US president has shown his support for events in Iran so as to proclaim his country's role in a conspiracy against Iran's Islamic regime. However, this support had a negative effect on the demonstrations since they shifted promptly to a peaceful dialogue between students and officials. Everybody is determined not to give the USA any chance to foment riots. If Bush saw a positive element in the student demonstrations, even if these did not meet with violence from the Iranian authorities, why is the USA ordering the killing of every Iraqi who demonstrates against the US occupation?

Al-Vefagh - moderate

This notorious game was based on a division of labour. Everybody's role and interests were determined beforehand. But those who carry out America's plans here are too discredited to be able to achieve anything.

Jomhuri-ye Eslami - hard-line, pro-Khamene'i

One could say that in order to foil America's policy of destabilization of Iran, the best preventive strategy is to tackle the country's economic, cultural and social problems. These problems can turn into crises.

Resalat - conservative

Apart from the question whether the recent events were political or not, it has to be said that behind events of this kind lies an undeniable fact: the growth of public dissatisfaction at the current situation and the uneven economic, political and cultural conditions in society. This is an alarm bell for any political structure and, if a state does not hear the people's voice and disregards their protests, it will undoubtedly be vulnerable.

Entekhab - centre right

What we have been witnessing in the past few days is the reaction of various social groups to social problems, including those relating to students. But the response to these protests is illogical. There can be no doubt that violent solutions are unsuccessful.

Hambastegi - reformist

Student protests, whatever their reason, do not mean that the students are against the integrity of the country's political establishment. Their demands could be met with a peaceful and lawful response.

Tose'eh - reformist

President Khatami has called on the judiciary, provincial security councils and the Law Enforcement Force to prevent the activities of those who create riots. This marks the president's deep concern at the increase in the activities of vigilante groups.

Etemaad - reformist

A comparison between the Law Enforcement Force's behaviour during the attack on the university campus in 1999 and in the recent events shows remarkable progress. In 1999 LEF commanders never accepted their mistakes. That the current LEF commander has accepted some of the mistakes made by his personnel and apologized for them is a step forward.

Yas-e Now - reformist

BBC Monitoring, based in Caversham in southern England, selects and translates information from radio, television, press, news agencies and the Internet from 150 countries in more than 70 languages.

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