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Tensions, Slogans During Speech By Hard-Line 'Kayhan' Editor


Iranian students holding handwritten signs in green – the color of the opposition movement -- chanted in protest during a speech by Hossein Shariatmadari, the editor of the ultra-hard-line daily "Kayhan."

Iranian students holding handwritten signs in green – the color of the opposition movement -- chanted in protest during a speech by Hossein Shariatmadari, the editor of the ultra-hard-line daily "Kayhan."

Tensions were reported at a December 15 speech by Hossein Shariatmadari, the editor of the ultra-hard-line daily "Kayhan" who spoke at an event at Tehran University about the 2009 antigovernment protests.

Iranian news agencies reported that students chanted against and in support of the feared Shariatmadari who claimed that the idea of imposing sanctions against the Islamic republic came from Iranian opposition figures.

"There are documents available that demonstrate the leaders of the sedition were engaged in treason. I sent parts of the documents to a sedition element who said, 'We won’t allow these documents to be published,'" claimed Shariatmadari.

Sedition is a term hard-liners use in Iran to refer to the protests over the 2009 disputed reelection of former President Mahmud Ahmadinejad.

Shariatmadari's comments appeared to be part of attempts by the hard-line "Kayhan" editor and commentator to discredit opposition leaders Mir Hossein Musavi , his wife Zahra Rahnavard, and reformist cleric Mehdi Karrubi who have been under house arrest since February 2011.

The opposition figures appear to still enjoy popular support despite being banned from contact with the outside world.

"Kayhan" is known for launching smear campaigns against opposition figures and dissidents.

Some students chanted: "Shame on You, Liar. Leave the University" and "Ya Hossein, Mir Hossein" according to reports by Iranian news agencies.

"Haj Hossein, Disclose," Others chanted.

"There are also documents that prove that sedition leaders proposed sanctions to the United States.," Sharitmadari said.

He added: "I say to the seditionists, if it wasn’t for Hizbullah, you would be polishing [Israeli Prime Minister] Netanyahu’s boots now."

More protest chants followed.

"I feel sorry for you, you have been deceived," said Shariatmadari.

Pictures by Iranian news agencies Fars and ISNA show students holding hand-written signs in green – the color of the opposition movement-- against Shariatmadari including one that read: "The university is not a place for a liar".

Another sign said: "Dictatorship will not last."

Shariatmadari’s supporters were also holding signs including one that said: "The sins of the seditionists are unforgivable".

-- Golnaz Esfandiari

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Persian Letters is a blog that offers a window into Iranian politics and society. Written primarily by Golnaz Esfandiari, Persian Letters brings you under-reported stories, insight and analysis, as well as guest Iranian bloggers -- from clerics, anarchists, feminists, Basij members, to bus drivers.

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