Tehran students trapped by police

POLICE surrounded the campus of Tehran University yesterday, trapping hundreds of students protesting what they said were fabricated images showing the burning of a photo of the revered founder of the Islamic republic.

State television has repeatedly shown images, ostensibly taken during opposition protests on December 7, of unidentified hands burning the picture of Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini – a grave and illegal insult against a man who remains widely respected.

The students protesting yesterday contend the images were fabricated by government agents and are being used to justify further crackdowns on the opposition.

Iran’s supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei called for calm, but indirectly accused the opposition of creating a hostile environment.

“Some have converted the election campaign into a campaign against the entire system,” Khamenei said without naming any opposition leaders. “We call on those who are angry to remain calm.”

Reformists, including former presidential candidate Mir Hossein Musavi, maintain that their supporters had nothing to do with the burning of the picture, which they say is being used by the regime to discredit the opposition.

The December 7 rallies did see numerous attacks on the current supreme leader of the country, Khamenei.


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