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Major cleric calls on Judiciary to severely deal with those behind recent unresets in Iran

Substitute leader of the Tehran Friday Prayers Ayatollah Mohammad Yazdi called on the Judiciary to adopt tough measures against the trouble-makers who where behind the recent unrests in Tehran and major Iranian cities, IRNA reported.

Addressing thousands of worshipers gathered at the Tehran University campus for the weekly congregational prayers, Ayatollah Yazdi said there was no longer any room for tolerance for those who are jeopardizing the national security.

He said the acts of these trouble-makers do not differ from the ehaviors of "mhohareb", Islamic term meaning peoples waging war against god.

"Can one consider as simple "protesters" those who come to the streets overnight to harass the passers-by, beat them or inflict damage to the passing cars?" he asked.

He reiterated his appeal to the Judiciary officials to severely deal with the trouble-makers according to the law.

Yazdi went on to say that those who sparked the recent events in Tehran universities campuses were not in fact students but acted in the name of students movement.

The Ayatollah praised the police and basij (volunteer forces) for acting vigilantly to control the situation.

He also lashed out at the American officials who gave their support for the agents behind the campus incidents adding that Iran is not Afghanistan or Iraq.

He said the war-hardened Iran that fought a bloody war with the Iraqi Baath regime in 1980-1988 would not yield to such pressures.

The Americans are erroneously relying on the false reports on Iran since the Iranian brave people would come to scene and would fight to defend their nation to the last drop of their blood in case of crisis or war, noted Ayatollah Yazdi.

Ayatollah Yazdi said it was of prime importance for officials to adopt measures to promote the unity and solidarity in the country under the currently critical conditions to foil the ploys hatched by enemies against the Islamic system.

The Iranian people including youth and students would surely remain committed to the Islamic instructions and lofty values and would defend Iran's Islamic system, he noted.

The first unrest broke out in Tehran on June 10 following a peaceful gathering of students in protest to the alleged privatization of universities.

Sporadic troubles have continued over recent days in capital Tehran as well as central Isfahan, southern Shiraz and northwestern Tabriz.

According to media, police have arrested several people, including plain-clothes vigilantes who have reportedly assailed student dormitories and beaten up students.

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

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

The US official praised those behind the events for recent unrests in the Islamic Republic. The move by the US leaders infuriated Iranian officials who denounced it for constituting "blatant interference in Iran's internal affairs".

On Monday, Iran sent an official protest to the United States over its flagrant interference in its internal affairs through hailing the riots.

US State Department spokesman Richard Boucher was cited as saying after the riots that "We applaud the Iranian people for calling attention to the destructive policies of the Iranian government, that do such a disservice to its population".

... Payvand News - 6/20/03 ... --

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