A brawl erupted in the Iranian parliament Sunday after supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei ordered the legislature not to debate liberalizing the nation's press laws, the official IRNA news agency said.
It said a fight broke out between several angry MPs while others stormed out of the session to protest Khamenei's order, on what was to have been a historic day for the new pro-reform parliament.
The microphones carrying comments of protesting deputies were apparently turned off during the live radio and television coverage of the session, but speaker Mehdi Karubi insisted the broadcast continue.
The parliament was due to debate amendments to a restrictive press law passed by the outgoing conservative-majority legislature in its waning days in office.
Reformists ousted the conservatives in February elections, giving President Mohamad Khatami the "co-operative" legislature he had sought to help enact his liberalizing reforms - TEHRAN (AFP)
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