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Last Updated: Sunday, 15 June, 2003, 14:00 GMT 15:00 UK
Iran press ponders protests
Iranian police officers block a street during a protest
Police action has been criticised

Iran's reformist press expresses hope that the continuing demonstrations will galvanise the reform movement, but the movement itself also draws criticism - along with the conservative militias - for causing the crisis.

Conservative papers view the US as the chief culprit, but there is also a warning against playing into the old enemy's hands by overreacting.

Various political factions... have played a role in ensuring that the moves will generate a crisis. The reformist faction's... failure to respond to the students' demands and objections, which were made on educational grounds, may well have contributed to the emergence of the protest movement... The number of plain-clothes men and forces which apparently entered the fray to counter the student demonstrations... was considerably larger than the number of students... The main ring-leaders in the riots were those who apparently entered the fray to prevent the demonstrations spreading.

Tose'eh - reformist

Activating the reform movement under the current circumstances will enable us to kill many birds with one stone. First, the Majlis will be able to test the method of exerting pressure from below while bargaining at the top. Second, one can channel the current developments in a democratic direction. Third, one can compel totalitarian groups... to retreat and dissolve black and reactionary pressure groups.

Tose'eh - reformist

Iranians have a century-long experience of civic institutions. They have learned that independence and freedom are not gifts that foreigners can grant us. Such gifts are precious only when they originate from inside. It is Iranians who should ensure Iran becomes a developed and proud country.

Etemaad - reformist

Even if one accepts that external elements may have influenced the course of recent events, one should not ignore factors that complement those external elements. In other words, the two aforementioned elements could both be instrumental in contributing to the escalation of the current unrest.

Etemaad - reformist

For certain people, the main thing is the 'enemy-creation project'. Anything outside the circle of disciples, toadies and like-minded people is either a conspiracy or a sign of hostility... Such people have no sense of responsibility... and do not feel accountable to God, the people, public opinion or legal institutions . It is so easy to accuse everyone of being a puppet of foreigners and of receiving dollars in suitcases.

Yas-e Now - reformist

America... has not disguised the fact that it is trying to change the Iranian regime... A number of people who have served as that country's mercenaries in Iran, such as the monarchists and a number of other counter-revolutionaries, have taken advantage of this opportunity... To counter the policies of our enemies and counter-revolutionaries, we have no choice but to rely upon the people.

Entekhab - centre-right

A bunch of hooligans and ruffians incited by foreign radio stations held up traffic near the university, constantly blowing their horns... Bush's national security adviser, the most beautiful member of his team of terrorists, has said explicitly that supporting those who blow their "horns" is part and parcel of America's policy. They think those who blow their horns can solve their problems in occupied Palestine, Iran and Afghanistan, as well as their multifarious problems in America itself.

Resalat - conservative

Foreigners are waiting to take advantage of any kind of protests, even anti-inflation protests... Unsystematic, violent, radical and sensationalized reactions to the protests will... only result in the escalation of such protests and turn their focus from socio-economic issues to political ones.

Resalat - conservative

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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14 Jun 03  |  Middle East
Iran's reformist press urges caution
12 Jun 03  |  Middle East
Country profile: Iran
12 Jun 03  |  Country profiles

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