Khatami to name names in attack on student hostel
TEHRAN, Aug 12 (Reuters) - President Mohammad Khatami said on Thursday
his government had identified those behind last month's brutal attack
on pro-democracy students and would shortly reveal the results of its
The moderate president told student groups that officials acting beyond
their own authority, as well as ``non-military personnel'' -- an apparent
reference to hardline vigilantes -- were to blame for the assault on the
Tehran student hostels July 8-9.
The attack left hundreds injured and at least two dead, sparking the
worst unrest since the consolidation of the 1979 Islamic revolution. Student
leaders say six others are missing and still unaccounted for.
``In investigating this issue we have held hundreds of hours of meetings,
scores of people have been interviewed, hundreds of documents have been
reviewed and the culprits have been identified,'' Khatami said in remarks
reported by the official IRNA news agency.
``We will very soon issue a statement and react against the violence-mongers,''
he said, without setting any date or deadline.
The attack on the students by police and hardline vigilantes touched
off a week of unrest that culminated on July 12-13 in street riots in
Tehran and provoked the worst crisis of Khatami's two years in office.
Scattered violence erupted in other cities.
His hardline rivals used the incident to suggest the government was
moving too fast on social and political reform and was undermining the
tenets of the Islamic republic.
Reformist allies, meanwhile, have demanded swift identification and
public trial of those responsible for the initial assault on the student
Many have also demanded the hardline police chief resign over the affair
and a permanent crack-down on the so-called pressure groups, shadowy hardline
gangs that routinely disrupt pro-reform rallies, speeches and gatherings.
``We have found the root causes for the dormitory incident. Some forces
who acted outside their authority and also some non-military personel
who were at the scene and who caused the events to erupt have also been
identified,'' the president told the students, which included the full
political spectrum, from pro-reform to religious traditionalists.
``The violence-mongers are trying to remove the dynamism from life and
impose a deadly atmosphere on our society.''
Khatami, who denounced the post-attack violence on 'deviant elements'
among the broader student movement, also told the students they must
not allow their own natural political differences to degenerate into open