- Extensive clashes between rival factions in Tehran, provincial cities

Heavy scuffles broke out between supporters of Khamenei and Khatami in north Tehran's Tajrish Square on Tuesday night. While the two sides were beating up one another, passers-by and onlookers began tearing down election posters and candidates' photos, with many people saying “We have had enough of both factions. We want none of them."

On Tuesday afternoon, a rally organized by Rafsanjani's faction at a basketball arena in Tehran's Amjadieh Sports Complex witnessed violent scenes between supporters of Rafsanjani and Khatami and there were brawls between the two sides. When Guidance Minister Ata'ollah Mohajerani was about to speak, some in the crowd began chanting “Down with Rafsanjani" and prevented him from making his speech.

In Hassanabad district of Karaj, a city west of Tehran, violent clashes took place on Tuesday between supporters of Khamenei and Khatami, which left behind several people badly injured. In a separate incident in Karaj on the same day, a group of people chanting slogans against Mir Baqeri, a candidate, interrupted his speech and beat him up. They smashed all the windows of the building where the election rally was being held. Violent clashes of this nature have become a daily occurrence in Karaj.

The eastern city of Birjand was also the scene of violent clashes on Tuesday, as municipality workers fought fist fights with supporters of a candidate over the issue of bill posting. The brawls went on for several hours.

In Isfahan, several sonic booms have gone off at the headquarters of two candidates, Parvaresh and Saqaian.

At an election rally on Tuesday at a park near the southern port of Bandar Abbas on the Persian Gulf, Alireza Dehghani, one of the participants, was stabbed to death. In the northwestern city of Tabriz, the car carrying Mahtaj Sadeghi Shabestari, a woman candidate, was attacked by assailants who wanted to pour acid on her face.

The clashes come against a backdrop of noticeable public apathy toward election rallies by different factions within the regime. At a main rally held at Tehran University on Tuesday by Khatami's faction, where the most prominent candidates of this faction gave speeches, only 1,500 people attended, according to the mullahs' official news agency.

Secretariat of the National Council of Resistance of Iran
February 17, 2000

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