Iranian Hard-Liners Protest against Khatami's Reform Policy
Hundreds of hard-liners gathered on Tuesday at the University of Tehran to protest against the reforms initiated by Iran's President Mohammad Khatami.
The protestors, whose numbers were estimated by reporters at the scene to be around 1,500, gathered at the entrance to the university in central Tehran to demand that "the advocates of American-style reforms be brought to justice."
They also denounced the government's cultural agenda, saying that "it had led to an atmosphere of violence."
The demonstrators shouted slogans against the United States, Israel and the reformist press, which is closely associated with Khatami's government. They brandished reformist dailies that had been defaced with black crosses.
On Tuesday, a conservative deputy in the outgoing parliament accused Khatami of helping the enemies of the regime by his "vague rhetoric."
The attack on the president followed a warning Sunday to reformers and the reformist press backing Khatami from Iran's elite Revolutionary Guards, the Pasdaran, a pillar of the Islamic regime under the direct control of supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.
It attacked "those who defend American-style reforms in Iran", referring to people and newspapers recently coming out in favor of a renewed dialogue with the United States.
On Friday, Khamenei defended "legal violence" as a means of keeping order in the Islamic republic and insisted that Iran would not move away from the values of the 1979 Islamic revolution -- TEHRAN (AFP).
© 2000 Al Bawaba (www.albawaba.com)