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Iran official: No student in police custody, vigilantes arrested

Director of Tehran Governor General's office for political and security affairs Ali Ta'ala said in Tehran on Sunday that at present there are no students in police custody, IRNA reported.

He told IRNA that those arrested were released immediately, adding hat some of the vigilantes and their leader 'Hassan Asgar' who had accosted the students have also been arrested.

He said that interaction between the police and students is "positive" and effective in restoring relative calm to the students dormitory.

"The police have reacted strongly to the perpetrators of the attacks on Tehran University dormitories," Ta'ala noted.

He further expressed hope that cooperation between police and people "will prevent recurrence of such unfortunate incidents in the future."

He said that attacks by the vigilante groups on the Tehran University dormitory on Hemmat street had caused injuries to 80 students, with some being hospitalized.

Police announced on Sunday that order has been restored to the dormitory of Tehran University after several days of unrest.

Ali-Asghar Mahaki, the director of Police Information Department, told IRNA that the police had been stationed in the dormitory upon the request of the Ministry of Science, Research and Technology, stressing that order has been restored there with the cooperation of the students.

Mahaki further said that seven persons who had been arrested in connection with the unrest were released after going through judicial procedures.

A student association, affiliated to volunteer Basij militia, has warned 'vigilantes' against attacking students and their residences and said such raids could lead to playing to the hands of enemies.

In a statement issued Saturday, the Collegiate Basij Association of Tarbiat-e Modarres University said that the attacks were orchestrated by 'a handful of unidentified individuals' following student riots in protest against possible privatization of universities.

The association also hit out at the rioters, saying they were being incited by 'unknown hands and well-calculated suspicious tendencies' which, it said, sought to 'create riots by exploiting the sanctity of universities under the pretext of privatization'.

Iranian officials have said the riots were provoked by the enemies, especially the United States which has openly encouraged them.

Karroubi urges students to follow up demands through legal channel

Majlis Speaker Mehdi Karroubi said on Sunday that students should follow up their demands through legal channels envisaged in the Constitution, IRNA reported.

He told a press conference that different political groups should express themselves in a way not to give the enemies an excuse to meddle in Iran's internal affairs.

He said that the student demonstrations and the strikes of the workers are something usual in all the democratic societies adding that the enemies are exploiting the democratic demands of the students.

"We have no concern about the democratic demands of the students. Our concern is that their demands might be distorted by certain infiltrators," Karroubi said.

He criticized Washington-based radio and television networks for instigating Iranian youth to stir up violence in Iranian community and said that families should prevent their children from being influenced by the US propaganda machine.

"There are some who are insinuating the youth in the guise of friendship with the nation to embark on violence. Why don't they stand by the nation to whom they send sympathetic messages?" Karroubi asked.

Asked by a German reporter about the US officials' messages to demonstrators, Karroubi said, "It's not appropriate for the officials of a certain country to get involved in instigating demonstrations in another country. This is tantamount to flagrant interference in Iranian domestic affairs."

He said that the Islamic Republic of Iran has parliament where representatives of people are seeing to the affairs of the country and exercise their right to question the cabinet ministers about their performance.

He said that no country has the right to interfere in national affairs of another country under the pretext of helping democracy.

"The Iranian nation will never forget the US involvement in military coup which toppled the nationalist government of Mohammad Mossadeq in 1953 and restored Pahlavi dictatorship for 25 years in Iran.

"If the United States really had backed democracy (in 1953), it would have given the Iranian people the right to determine their own destiny," Karroubi said.

On suspension of one semester in the current academic year, Karroubi said he was not aware of a decision to that effect.

... Payvand News - 6/15/03 ... --

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