TITLE=IRAN SHOOTING (L)
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 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
/// 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
13-Mar-2000 09:54 AM EDT (13-Mar-2000 1454 UTC)
Source: Voice of America
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