About 20,000 Iranians marched through the centre of Teheran on Tuesday (3 July) demanding the release of an Iranian guerrilla leader accused of spying for the Soviet Union.
GV Mujadhedin demonstrators carrying banners march down tree lined avenue
MV Demonstrators including women chanting during march
GV Islamic demonstrators carrying placards
MV Islamic demonstrators houting and waving arms
MV Islamic militants chairing one of their leaders chanting (3 shots)
GV Demonstrators marching through streets
CU Men distributing leaflets
LV Mujahedin and militants mingle
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Background: About 20,000 Iranians marched through the centre of Teheran on Tuesday (3 July) demanding the release of an Iranian guerrilla leader accused of spying for the Soviet Union. It was the third successive day that supporters of the radical Mujahedin-E-Khalq organisation had taken to the streets t protest the detention of guerrilla leader Mohammad Reza Saddati.
SYNOPSIS: The arrest of Saddati two-and-a-half months ago on the 27th of April has become a major divisive issue in Iran. A letter from Saddati's wife, sparked off these demonstrations. She said her husband might soon die of starvation. Saddati has been on a hunger strike for the past month at Teheran's Qasr prison.
Saddati's Mujahedin guerrillas played a major role in Iran's February Revolution. They have issued a statement in their leader's defence, saying he had been ordered to contact the Soviet Union Embassy to obtain a list of United States' Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) officers in Teheran.
These Islamic militants don't accept the Mujahedin protests. The counter demonstrators tried to disrupt the march, chanting "The Russian spry must die."
The Islamic militants only succeeded in disturbing the march once. Revolutionary Guards fired three shots in the air to force them back when they tried to break through a security cordon around the Mujahedin.
The Moslem spiritual leader in Teheran, Ayattolah Mahmoud Taleghari publicly criticised the authorities over Saddati's arrest. Last year a General died in detention on similar charges.