INTRODUCTION: More than 1,000 supporters of the Marxist People's Fedayeen movement defied a government ban on political meetings to gather for a rally on Friday (17 April) to commemorate nine of their number executed under the late Shah.
GV PAN Crowd seated at rally
CU PAN Portrait of martyr TO Janshid Taheripour speaking
CU Women listening (3 shots)
SV & GV Taheripour speaking and crowd chanting (2 shots)
SV Woman climbing rostrum and speaking (2 shots)
SV & GV Woman leads crowd in chant (2 shots)
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Background: INTRODUCTION: More than 1,000 supporters of the Marxist People's Fedayeen movement defied a government ban on political meetings to gather for a rally on Friday (17 April) to commemorate nine of their number executed under the late Shah.
SYNOPSIS: The rally at Teheran's Behesht Zahra cemetery was the first since the April 8 clampdown on political activity. Recent Fedayeen meetings have led to violent clashes between leftist and supporters of the clergy and the government imposed a ban on meetings, saying that this was necessary to preserve national unity while the country was still at war with Iraq.
Friday's meeting passed without violent incident. About 30 supporters of the Islamic Republican Party marched round the gathering chanting anti-Fedayeen slogans, but they soon left. However, two people were killed and more than 20 wounded in incidents at Teheran University on Monday (20 April). Left-wing militants and supporters of Iran's fundamentalist Islamic leadership clashed after a demonstration demanding the re-opening of the university, closed last year after Islamic fundamentalists ousted left-wingers from the campus. Islamic leaders demanded that the universities should stay closed for up to four years to allow a purge of leftist and liberal elements.
Many students though are now involved in the war with Iraq and demonstrators at Friday's meeting also paid tribute to those who had died in defending their country. Fierce fighting continues between Iran and Iraq despite the efforts of Islamic peace envoys.