Uprising by 5,000 residents in Tehran's Massoudieh township

More than 5,000 residents of Massoudieh township, southeast Tehran, staged an antigovernment demonstration, Sunday and Monday, July 5 and 6, to prevent the demolition of their homes by the district authorities.

According to information from within the clerical regime, Wednesday, July 1, in a meeting at Tehran's Governor's Office, Mohammad Reza Ayatollahi, Tehran province's governor, Ali Razini, head of Tehran's Department of Justice, Brigadier Hedayatollah Lotfian, Greater Tehran's State Security Forces commander, representatives from the Guards Corps and the Armed Forces and the Director General of Tehran's Intelligence Department, decided to order the demolition of homes built recently by the impoverished residents of this township.

Municipality agents backed by the State Security Forces began to demolish 30 homes at 9:00 p.m. on Sunday, July 5, but faced stiff resistance by the home owners.

The next day, July 6, people in the district rushed to aid of the home owners and the gathering quickly turned into a 5,000-strong demonstration. Chanting "death to Khamenei, death to Khatami and down with dictatorship," the people attacked and clashed with municipality agents and State Security Forces.

Residents attacked the municipality building in District 6 in Massoudieh and destroyed the entire furniture and all municipality kiosks. They then marched on the street and attacked Tejarat and Saderat banks with stones and bricks, heavily damaging them.

To confront the angry crowd, in addition to the State Security Forces on the scene, reinforcements, including a special Guard Corps unit commanded by Colonel Sarparast, were sent to the area.

Due to the severity of the clashes, Brigadier Lotfian went to Massoudieh and took over the efforts to put down the protest. But clashes continued until midnight. The enraged crowd destroyed three buses of the Guards Corps' special units and 14 other government vehicles. They also turned a vehicle of the State Security Forces upside down to block a street in the neighborhood.

At least five Guards and security agents as well as 11 residents were wounded. The Intelligence Ministry has arrested 18 protesters in this uprising about whom there is no information available.

From the early hours of Tuesday, July 7, the people converged on the area to confront actions by the regime. Fearful of eruption of more extensive clashes, the State Security Forces did not intervene. This morning, Revolutionary Guards were stationed at intersections and main streets to preclude further protest action and prevent the people from bringing in bricks and other materials to rebuild their demolished houses.

So widespread was the extent of this protest action that state controlled media, including Kayhan and IRNA, the official news agency, had to provide a distorted report about this uprising, describing it as a "small riot."

Secretariat of the National Council of Resistance of Iran
July 8, 1998

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