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INTRO:  Iran's reformist movement has vowed to 
continue its campaign to open Iranian politics and 
society, despite the shooting Sunday of one of the 
architects of its sweeping electoral victory last 
month.  Doctors say reformist politician Saeed 
Hajjarian continues to lie unconscious, in stable but 
serious condition, in a Tehran hospital.  
Correspondent Scott Bobb reports from our Middle East 
Bureau in Cairo.
TEXT:  Reformist leaders in Iran vow the shooting of 
Saeed Hajjarian will strengthen their movement rather 
than weaken it.  They urged the government to stop 
attacks on the movement.
Reformist leaders held a news conference (Monday) in 
Tehran and urged security forces to show determination 
in arresting the attackers.  They accused their 
political rivals of being responsible for the attack.
Iran's leading dissident cleric, Ayatollah Ali 
Montazeri, issued a statement calling for an end to 
political violence.  He said the government's 
inability to deal with such attacks could lead to its 
demise.  Ayatollah Montazeri has been under house 
arrest for more than a decade for criticizing the 
clergy-dominated political system.
Reformist newspapers roundly condemned the attack.  
They characterized it as an attempt to halt the reform 
movement, but said it will not succeed.
Mr. Hajjarian was rushed to the hospital early Sunday 
after being shot in the face by two assailants riding 
on a powerful motorcycle.  Doctors say he had stopped 
breathing when he arrived.  They say tests do not show 
significant damage to his brain from the bullet, which 
is lodged near the neck.  But they say there could be 
damage from the disruption of oxygen flow before he 
            /// OPT ///
Mr. Hajjarian was one of the leading strategists 
behind the reformist landslide in parliamentary 
elections last month.  He was elected to the Tehran 
city council last year with the second-largest number 
of votes.  He was also managing editor of the 
reformist "Sobh-e Emrouz" newspaper, which severely 
criticized conservative politicians and clerics during 
the campaign.
The newspaper was also pressing the government for a 
more rigorous investigation into a series of murders 
of dissident intellectuals.  A preliminary 
investigation said rogue members of the security 
forces committed the murders, but Mr. Hajjarian's 
newspaper charged they were orchestrated by senior 
political leaders.
            /// END OPT///
The developments come as a number of mortar rounds 
struck an apartment complex in north Tehran.  Two 
people were reportedly wounded.
The opposition Mujahedeen Khalq claimed 
responsibility, saying the rounds were aimed at the 
nearby headquarters of the Iranian Revolutionary 
Guards.  A similar attack last month damaged a 
building near the presidential offices, killing one 
The two attacks led some to worry about a resurgence 
of violence in Iran following elections, which were 
praised by many as a model of democratic reform in the 
region.   (SIGNED)
13-Mar-2000 09:54 AM EDT (13-Mar-2000 1454 UTC)
Source: Voice of America

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