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Iran: Tehran Bans Demonstrations During Tense Anniversary Next Month

Tehran, 23 June 2003 (RFE/RL) -- Iran today banned demonstrations during next month's anniversary of a violent attack on a university dormitory in 1999 that triggered days of protests. Government spokesman Abdullah Ramazanzadeh said that all gatherings outside of universities will be prohibited on 9 July. But he said universities have the authority to give permission for protests on their own grounds.

The ban comes after a wave of demonstrations earlier this month, in which students and others have demanded the resignation of the country's Islamic regime.

On 14 June, pro-government vigilantes stormed two student dormitories, injuring more than 50 students. Ramazanzadeh today promised that those responsible for the raids will be brought to justice. Ramazanzadeh said some 470 people have been arrested in connection with the series of protests.

In London today, British Prime Minister Tony Blair said protestors in Iran deserve Britain's support, as do people fighting for freedom everywhere.