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MKO start six-day sit-in to protest Khatami's Paris trip

PARIS, Oct 21 (AFP) - About one hundred opponents of the Islamic regime in Iran gathered here on Thursday at the start of a six-day sit-in protest against the planned visit of Iranian President Mohammad Khatami next week.

The protestors, sitting in the Trocadero square in the city, are calling for the cancellation of Khatami's visit, accusing him of leading a religious dictatorship responsible for more than 120,000 political executions.

It was organised by the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI), which calls itself a parliament in exile and is primarily made up of the main Iranian opposition movement, the People's Mujahedeen.

"We want to show the French people that Khatami is not welcome," said Hedayat Mostowfi, an NCRI official.

Khatami is due in Paris from October 26 to 28 and has agreed to address a UNESCO general assembly at its headquarters in the city.

The visit, which would be the first by an Iranian head of state to France since the 1979 Islamic revolution, has not been officially announced.

A representative of the external relations committee of the NCRI, Hedayat Mostowfi, toldthat the sit-in will culminate in a "large demonstration (next) Wednesday" in Paris.


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