Intense clashes in western Tehran, residents destroy government vehicles

Reports from Iran say that intense clashes between residents and the regime's suppressive forces have been continuing for the past week in Kooy-e Kan (western Tehran).

The State Security Forces have repeatedly attacked the area since November 11 to demolish the homes of deprived and destitute residents, but have confronted extensive resistance by the people. Hundreds have been wounded and arrested so far in the course of these clashes .

Mr. Massoud Rajavi, President of the National Council of Resistance of Iran, hailed the local residents for standing up to the ruling anti-human regime. He called on people of Tehran to rush to their support in any way they can.

In the course of raids by the State Security Forces and municipality agents on the area, Intelligence Ministry agents and the Guards Corps have been backing them up. On November 12, the Mayor of Kooy-e Kan (Tehran's 5th district) and five other local officials, who had gone to oversee the demolition, were severely beaten up by residents.

During clashes on November 15, residents overturned four municipality vehicles and set them on fire. The people also destroyed four kiosks set up by the regime to prevent the transportation of bricks and other building materials to the area.

Since November 20, residents have been demonstrating everyday in the streets of Kooy-e Kan in groups of 1,000 to 2,000. Joined by people from nearby districts, they chant slogans against Khamenei, Khatami and other leaders of the regime, set up road blocks in different streets and set tires on fire.

During confrontations which took place on November 17, at least 30 people were arrested. Yesterday, November 18, angry residents of Kooy-e Kan clashed with municipality agents and the State Security Forces and beat up a number of them. Also yesterday, when the Guards stopped to inspect a "beef truck" which was carrying construction materials, local residents clashed with them. A number of individuals were injured from both sides and a group of people were arrested. The situation remains tense in this region as clashes have continued.

Mr. Rajavi emphasized: The persistent and stepped-up suppression of the deprived masses and the deteriorating state of poverty confirm that the mullahs' president, Khatami, has neither the interest nor the power to initiate the slightest change in the religious dictatorship ruling Iran.

The courageous uprisings of people in various cities and regions of Iran reflect the Iranian nation's will to overthrow the ruling clerical regime in its entirety, the NCR President added. He drew the attention of international human rights organizations to the plight of those arrested last week in clashes in Kooy-e Kan and urged them to take immediate action to save the lives of those arrested, about whom no information is available yet.

Secretariat of the National Council of Resistance of Iran
November 19, 1997

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