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Iran Says Over 100 People Detained At Anti-U.S. Rally

Riot police clash with opposition protesters in Tehran on November 4.
TEHRAN (Reuters) -- Iranian police detained more than 100 people for "disturbing public order" during a rally this week to mark the anniversary of the seizure of the U.S. Embassy, the official IRNA news agency has reported.

Security forces clashed with supporters of Iran's opposition leader Mir Hossein Musavi in Tehran on November 4 when an annual state-organized rally marking the 30th anniversary of the storming of the U.S. Embassy turned violent.

"Police arrested 109 people who created disorder and disturbed public order and security on the sideline of the rally on Wednesday," said Azizollah Rajabzadeh, head of Tehran police, IRNA reported.

"Some 62 of the detainees were jailed and the rest were released."

Iran's Revolutionary Guards and their allied Basij militia had warned the opposition not to try to hijack the rally to revive protests against the clerical establishment after June's disputed presidential election.

Defeated presidential candidates Musavi and Mehdi Karrubi, who are committed to reform, had urged supporters to take to the streets on November 4 to protest against the government despite warnings from the security forces about "illegal gatherings."

Security forces arrested an Agence France Presse (AFP) reporter along with a Danish student in connection with the rally.

The semi-official Fars news agency said on November 6 that two foreign journalists also had been arrested on November 4. The report could not be confirmed independently.

Foreign media have been banned from covering street protests since the demonstrations over the disputed June presidential vote, which the opposition says was rigged to secure President Mahmud Ahmadinejad's reelection.

The turmoil after the June 12 vote was the worst in Iran in the past three decades. Authorities deny vote-rigging.