Clashes between mullahs' rival factions in Tehran

A group of Khatami's supporters staged a gathering this afternoon in Tehran's Enqelab street, calling on the mullahs' president to identify and punish the assailants on Abdollah Nouri and Ata'ollah Mohajerani, cabinet members.

Subsequently, a group of pro-Khamenei club-wielders, known as Ansar-e Hezbollah, arrived at the scene and attacked the rival gang. The State Security Force had to intervene and use tear gas to separate the two sides and prevent the one-hour clash from spreading.

The attacks on two senior cabinet members and continuing clashes reflect a new round in the escalating power struggle among the mullahs and unveil the depth of political crisis gripping the clerics' triumvirate regime on the eve of elections for the Assembly of Experts which decides on the competence of the mullahs' supreme leader.

In a statement, Khatami had instructed Intelligence and Interior ministries to identify and deal with the those involved in Friday's incidents.

Secretariat of the National Council of Resistance of Iran
September 6, 1998

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