BBC Homepage World Service Education
BBC Homepagelow graphics version | feedback | help
BBC News Online
 You are in: World: Middle East
Front Page 
Middle East 
South Asia 
From Our Own Correspondent 
Letter From America 
UK Politics 
Talking Point 
In Depth 

Middle East expert, Hazhir Teimourian
"It is quite possible that the armed forces might split"
 real 56k

Thursday, 31 August, 2000, 20:59 GMT 21:59 UK
Fresh violence in Iran
Stand-off last Saturday night
The disturbances broke out last weekend
By Jim Muir in Tehran

There are reports of more disturbances in the western Iranian city of Khorramabad, following a series of violent confrontations in recent days between right-wing militants and student supporters of the reform movement.

The trouble began last week after two prominent liberals were prevented from addressing a student gathering in the city.

Mehdi Manuchehri, member of student body
A member of Iran's largest student organisation shows his wounds
A policeman was killed and a number of students injured in subsequent clashes.

The disturbances have caused widespread national concern and several high-level investigations are being carried out.


The latest disturbances do not appear to have been on a very wide scale but are significant in indicating that tension persists more than a week after the trouble in Khorramabad first broke out.

Tehran newspaper reports said that a group of rioters attacked bank premises in one part of the city during the night, throwing stones and smashing windows.

Students demonstrate
Students demonstrate after the liberal gathering was disrupted
They also threw Molotov cocktails at a petrol station but it did not catch fire.

The continuing disturbances occurred as several teams of high-level investigators were converging on Khorramabad.

Their task is to find out who was responsible for the violence, including the killing of a police officer who died of gunshot wounds on Sunday night.

One team has been sent by the judiciary, another by the Interior Ministry and a third from the Supreme National Security Council, which is headed by the reformist President, Mohammad Khatami.


His supporters are convinced that the violence at Khorramabad was staged by hardline, right-wing extremists bent on fomenting chaos in order to derail the reform process.

Mr Khatami's cabinet condemned what it called "the calculated incidents" aimed at weakening the authority of the government.

It demanded that the culprits be brought swiftly to justice.

The president's younger brother, Mohammad Reza Khatami - who heads the reformist faction which now predominates in parliament - said the violence was a sign of success for the reformist movement.

He said it showed that its roots had spread so far that its opponents had become angry and irrational.

Right-wing figures have blamed the trouble on agitators and anti-regime elements on the liberal side of the spectrum.

Search BBC News Online

Advanced search options
Launch console
See also:

28 Aug 00 | Middle East
Policeman dead in Iran unrest
20 Aug 00 | Middle East
Iran police face campus ban
05 Aug 00 | Middle East
Iranian reformer arrested
13 Aug 00 | Middle East
Iranian MPs pledge to continue reform
10 Jul 00 | Middle East
Analysis: Khatami's high-risk venture
02 Feb 00 | Middle East
Democracy Iranian style
Internet links:

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

Links to more Middle East stories are at the foot of the page.

E-mail this story to a friend

Links to more Middle East stories