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Iran: Fourth Night Of Protests In Tehran

Tehran, 14 June 2003 (RFE/RL) -- The streets of Tehran are reportedly quiet today after the most serious violence in four nights of anti-government protests. News agencies reported that supporters of Iran's strict Islamic government rode motorbikes and used chains, sticks, and batons to beat protesters, who were mainly gathered around Tehran University.

Police blocked some areas to prevent people from gathering. Some security officers fired machine guns into the air to disperse crowds.

Some protesters demanded the resignation of President Mohammad Khatami, who has failed to deliver promised reforms after six years in power. Others called for the death of Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, who has the last word on all state matters.

Clerical leaders have accused the United States of causing the unrest. Washington -- which accuses Iran of building nuclear weapons and sponsoring terrorism -- has hailed the protests.