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Information Minister: 200 people involved in Ahvaz skirmishes arrested

Tehran, April 18, IRNA-Some 200 people involved in recent skirmishes in the southern city of Ahvaz in Khuzestan province were identified and arrested by security forces, said Minister of Information Ali Younessi in Tehran on Monday.

Speaking to reporters on the sidelines of a national conference of governors in Tehran, the minister said that it has become clear that many of the arrested people were linked to foreign groups or TV networks that have been working to overthrow the Islamic government of Iran.

"Fortunately, all covert or overt agents involved in Ahvaz events were arrested," Younessi said adding that the whole skirmish was caused by a "fake letter attributed to the Presidential Office." The minister stressed that it became "completely obvious that the letter was fake and this can be affirmed by any expert."

Younessi added that many of the arrested people were among "innocent youth" of the region who were "deceived and provoked by the main agents."

Commenting on the recent allegations of the Iraqi Interior Minister, Falah Hassan al-Naqib, who said Iran was involved in Madaen hostage taking event, Younessi said that Iran did not attach any importance to his comments as it was the last days of his term in office as the interior minister of Iraq.

Younessi stated that the next Iraqi government would respond to such claims after completion of its formation.

Referring to some reports on the alleged arrest of head of Iran's Tobacco Company on charges of embezzlement, Younessi said that he was strongly opposed to the way of treating the official, his arrest and the way that press reported the events related to him.

As for the latest comments of the Secretary of the Guardian Council, Ahmad Jannati about finalizing the execution verdicts for some of Iranians who were charged with disturbing national security, Younessi said "You should ask mr. Jannati about it."

... Payvand News - 4/18/05 ... --

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