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Monday, 13 November, 2000, 13:49 GMT
Iran riots blamed on hardliners
Security forces in Khorramabad
The disturbances went on for several days
By Jim Muir in Tehran

The Iranian parliament has produced a report which largely blames hard-line Revolutionary Guards for several days of unrest in August in the western city of Khorramabad.

One security officer died and many other people were injured and the unrest led to sharp recriminations between reformists and hard-liners.

It is the third official report into the Khorramabad riots and like its predecessors, it highlights the rift within Iran's ruling circles between reformists and conservatives.


The parliamentary report is sure to be rejected by the conservatives as biased and one-sided.

The report from the reformist-dominated parliament accuses Revolutionary Guard commanders of inciting their followers and ancillary Islamic volunteers to disrupt a student congress held in Khorramabad.

The parliamentary team said the clear participation of Revolutionary Guards and related elements on one side in the disturbances was one of the reasons why it took so long for the unrest to be brought under control.

Incitement

The report called for numerous prosecutions of Guards commanders. It also blamed the local police commander for negligence and it accused the city's Friday Prayer leader of incitement too.

The violence broke out in Khorramabad after hard-line activists attacked the local airport to prevent two prominent reformist thinkers from addressing the student congress.

Mehdi Karubi, Speaker of Iranian Parliament
Parliament is dominated by reformists

The unrest went on for five days, causing one death, many injuries and a great deal of damage.

One of the earlier reports, carried out on behalf of the conservative controlled judiciary, blamed reformist provincial officials and it exonerated elements of the Revolutionary Guards and the Islamic volunteers.

A second report by the National Security Council blamed the trouble on high national political tensions, but it concluded that Revolutionary Guards and volunteers had played a role.

The parliamentary report is sure to be rejected by the conservatives as biased and one-sided.

The new chamber, led by reformists since their general election victory in February, is already at odds with the conservative dominated Council of Guardians, which has to approve all legislation.

The Council recently rejected a parliamentary interpretation of the press laws, which now has to go to yet another constitutional body, the Expediency Council, for arbitration.

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