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Iran: Thirty More Protestors Detained In Tehran

Tehran, 16 June 2003 (RFE/RL) -- Police have arrested at least 30 more protestors in Iran's capital Tehran after a sixth night of protests against the country's rulers. Iran's state-run IRNA news agency quotes Tehran police chief General Morteza Talaie as saying the 30 people were detained for "hooliganism."

The latest detentions bring the total number of those taken into custody since the protests began to at least 140, according to official reports.

In last night's demonstrations, cars were reported to have clogged the streets near the University of Tehran. Protestors called for the release of political prisoners and the resignation of President Mohammad Khatami.

The student news agency ISNA also reported that hundreds of people participated in antigovernment rallies in Mashhad in eastern Iran.

U.S. President George W. Bush yesterday called the protests a positive development. "This is the beginnings of people expressing themselves for a free Iran, which I think is positive," Bush said.

The Iranian Foreign Ministry has accused the U.S. of "flagrant interference in Iran's internal affairs," and said U.S. officials are overstating the significance of the events.