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Mohammadi freed, but aide arrested

PARIS 30TH MAY (Iran Press Service) In a new, but tactical retreat, the ruling conservatives freed Sunday Mr. Manouchehr Mohammadi, the secretary-general of the secular Association of Iranian Nationalist Students (AINS) but arrested his comrade-in-arms, Mr. Qolamreza Mohajerinezhad, according to reliable information received from Tehran.

Mr. Mohammadi had been abducted last Wednesday at the Tehran University by thugs belonging to the Ansar Hezbollah and agents of the Intelligence Ministry

Ansar Hezbollah is a violent pressure group formed, trained and armed with mostly white arms by the Intelligence Ministry to defend the position of the leader by attacking meetings and demonstrations organised by his opponents.

Several students' leaders, including Mr. Heshmatollah Tabarzadi of the Students Solidarity Bureau had warned the authorities if they do not free Mr. Mohammadi immediately and unconditionally, they will organise protest actions starting Sunday

Fearing a violent backlash and the possibility of all major campuses starting demonstrations that could generate into anti-regime manifestations, the Intelligence Ministry decided to free Mr. Mohammadi, but proceeded with the arrest of Mr. Mohajerinezhad and six others students activists, including Mr. Baba'i and Mr. Ahmadi.

Since the kidnapping of the secretary-general of AINS, Mr. Mohajerainezhad did not stopped multiplying actions and interviews to secure the release of Mr. Mohammadi.

Sources in Tehran told Iran Press Service that in order to prevent the students to stage demonstrations, the Ansar and agents of the Intelligence Ministry had posted large signs and notices all over the campus saying since Mr. Mohammadi had been released, the planed manifestations in his support had been cancelled.

Speaking to the Los-Angeles-based Radio Voice of Iranians (KRSI), an independent Iranian Radio station claiming more than one million listeners all over USA and parts of Canada, Mr. Mohammadi said during his 4 days ordeal, he had been frequently beaten up and tortured by his kidnappers, forced to sign documents saying while touring Europe and America recently, he had received money from foreign sources and Iranian organisations opposed to the Islamic Republic.

He said he had been freed on bail but must appear soon at an Islamic revolution court to answer charges such as plotting against the security of the State and anti-Islamic and anti-revolutionary activities.

"They told me that I and my friend Mr. Tabarzadi were paid by foreigners to topple the sacred regime of Islamic Republic, that we were undermining Islam and the revolution", he told KRSI, appealing to all Iranians inside and outside Iran to "rush" to the help of students.

In an interview earlier with the Persian service of the Radio France Internationale, Mr. Tabarzadi had presented the students movements as the "heart and soul" of all political actions in Iran, explaining that the Judiciary had reached the conclusion that it must crush the students actions alongside the liberal and independent press.

Meanwhile, the ayatollah Ali Akbar Nateq Nouri, was easily re-elected Sunday for another year as the Speaker of the conservative-controlled Majles (parliament) by 161 votes against 81 to his main rival, Mr. Majid Ansari, a pro-Khatami MP.

A Khameneh'i yes man, Mr. Nateq Nouri is now ruling the Majles for the second straight four years term.

Analysts told the IPS Mr. Nateq Nouri's large support shows that with less than one year before the end of the present session of the Majles, no one wants to enter a real fight for the presidency of the House, reserving their forces for the next Majles.

One source said in recent months, Mr. Nateq Nouri has shown more independence towards the conservatives by acting as more as an arbiter than the head of the conservative faction of the parliament, as seen during the impeachment of Mr. Ata'ollah Mohajerani, the Guidance Minister, who's victory was seen as a triumph for President Mohammad Khatami and the reformists.


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