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Iran: Thousands Greet Nobel Prize Winner In Tehran

Tehran, 14 October 2003 (RFE/RL) -- Several thousand Iranians, mostly women, today greeted Nobel Peace Prize winner Shirin Ebadi when she arrived in Tehran. Immediately after stepping off the plane, Ebadi called for the freeing of political prisoners.

Ebadi won the award on 10 October for her work in Iran defending the rights of women and children. Before her departure from Paris for Tehran, she expressed hope that the consequences of her work will reach beyond Iran.

"I hope the message from my country, which is a peace-loving country that hates war and cruelty, reaches the world."

Iranian President Mohammad Khatami today said that the Nobel committee's decision to honor Ebadi was based on political considerations.

Khatami said the Nobel Peace Prize is not very important. He also reminded Ebadi to use her achievement in the interests of Iran.