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Last Updated: Thursday, 19 July 2007, 23:29 GMT 00:29 UK
Iran shows new scholars' footage
Haleh Esfandiari speaks in the first part of the programme on 18 July 2007
Ms Esfandiari's statement hardly amounted to a confession
Iranian state television has shown the second part of a programme with two Iranian-American scholars who have been detained in the country since May.

It again suggested there was a plot to overthrow the government through a "Velvet Revolution" similar to those seen in 1989 in Eastern Europe.

Haleh Esfandiari and Kian Tajbakhsh are being held on suspicion of spying and endangering Iranian national security.

The academics could face the death penalty if charged and found guilty.

'Making system unstable'

The documentary, In the Name of Democracy, was based on interviews with the two academics.

Kian Tajbakhsh speaks during the first episode of the programme on 18 July 2007
Mr Tajbakhsh is an urban planner with the Open Society Institute

Ms Esfandiari, who works at the US-based Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, spoke of attempts to create networks of people who would ultimately bring about fundamental change within the Islamic republic.

"After five months of staying in Iran I concluded that these people and I... in the name of democracy... were trying to create a network to lead to very essential changes in the system of Iran.

"It means to make the system unstable," Ms Esfandiari said.

She made the statement in a strange, long-winded fashion, perhaps suggesting that she was not speaking of her own free will, the BBC's Jon Leyne in Tehran says.

The statement also hardly amounted to a confession, our correspondent says.

Mr Tajbakhsh, an urban planning consultant with George Soros' Open Society Institute, said his organisation's aim was to "create a gap between the (Iranian) government and the people".

"This would have resulted in creating a Western-style democracy in Iran by empowering non-government organisations," he said.

Most of the rest of the programme was taken up with an effort to show that the Open Society Institute was targeting Iran for another peaceful revolution - like in Ukraine and Georgia, our correspondent says.

But if anything, he says, all the documentary really illustrated was the fear of those who now run Iran that they are vulnerable to just such a revolution, our correspondent says.

In the first episode, the documentary also alternated between the academics' interviews and dramatic pictures of the revolutions in Ukraine and Georgia to suggest there was a US-led plot to overthrow the Iranian government.

The US has rejected the allegations against the two scholars.

Clips from the documentary

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