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IRAN - Sept. 18 - Anti-Terrorism Vigil; Basij Counter-Hit.

Basijis in plain clothes and security forces attack several hundred young people near Mohseni Square in north Tehran trying to hold a candle-lit vigil for the victims of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks in New York and Washington. Marchers led by the Pak Party of environmentalists are kicked and beaten up after they blocked traffic as they lit their candles, with police watching on. The Interior Ministry had told Pak its application to hold a rally had been denied. Pak (clean) then told its followers through the press the rally would not be held. But people including women still turned up. (The incident highlighted the political tensions between the reformists and hardline traditionalists. The former saw in the Sept. 11 tragedy an opportunity to make overtures to the US, as Pak markers chanted "Death to Terrorism", while the traditionalists were opposed to this. Pres. Khatami was quick to denounce the Sept. 11 attacks and to urge the people to pray for the US victims. But Supreme Leader Ayat. Khamen'i, while he condemned violence against innocent people, said on Sept. 17 Iran would not support any US retaliation against Afghanistan. Yet the traditionalists remain strongly opposed to the Sunni Taliban regime and Bin Ladin in Afghanistan).
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Publication:APS Diplomat Recorder
Article Type:Brief Article
Geographic Code:7IRAN
Date:Sep 22, 2001
Previous Article:IRAN - Sept. 16 - Tehran Closes Afghan Border.
Next Article:IRAQ - Sept. 18 - US-UK Strikes Continue.

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