Iran Deputy Minister Due in Court Over Deadly Unrest

Published November 20th, 2000 - 02:00 GMT

Iran's deputy interior minister will be back in court Tuesday to face questioning over the deadly unrest that marred a pro-reform student conference in August, newspapers said. 

Mostafa Tajzadeh, a close ally of President Mohammad Khatami tapped by the ministry to oversee next May's presidential elections, appeared in court earlier this month to be informed of the charges against him. 

A policeman was killed and dozens of people wounded in days of unrest that erupted after a mob stormed the airport in the provincial capital of Khoramabad to block two critics of the clerical regime from addressing the student conference. 

Tajzadeh, in Khoramabad at the time, has been accused by conservatives of instigating the violence while students said they were brutally beaten by volunteer Basiji militia as well as elite Revolutionary Guards troops. 

Both forces denied the charges but an investigation by the National Security Council, as well as a separate inquiry by a parliamentary committee, largely supported the student claims. 

Tajzadeh's nomination to supervise the May polls has come under heavy fire in recent days, in part because of his membership of a leftist political movement that belongs to the pro-reform coalition behind Khatami. 

A conservative group planning to put forward a woman to challenge Khatami in the election said in a statement this week that the results were "a foregone conclusion if Tajzadeh has anything to do with it" -- TEHRAN (AFP)  

 

 

 

© 2000 Al Bawaba (www.albawaba.com)

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