Iran's Supreme Leader Gathers Rival Factions Together
Iran's supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khameini, gathered the heads of the country's reformist and conservative movements Sunday to encourage mutual understanding, state television said.
The meeting, held at Khameini's home, included pro-reform President Mohammed Khatami and conservative former president Akbar Hashemi-Rafsanjani, who controls the powerful Expediency Council.
State telvision, which called the meeting "a sign of reconciliation and solidarity," said Khameini led the leaders in prayer together.
The meeting comes one day after violent clashes outside Tehran University between fundamentalists and reformist students who support Khatami.
The demonstration, which injured at least 10, was broken up when the Bassijis, a militia loyal to Ayatollah Khameini, moved into the crowd and began clubbing the reformist students, witnesses said.
Khameini, who is officially neutral in political disputes but is widely viewed as favoring the conservatives, has called together Iranian leaders several times over the past year, including after the February elections that brought reformists to power - TEHRAN (AFP)
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