Iran: West stirs crowds to violence

Updated: 2009-12-30 15:16
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Five bodies held as some fear more clashes likely at funerals

Iran yesterday accused Western countries of fomenting deadly anti-government protests in the capital this week.

The comments by the Foreign Ministry spokesman of Iran stoked growing tensions between Iran and the West, which is threatening tough new sanctions over Iran's nuclear program.

Yesterday, tens of thousands of government supporters rallied in the streets, state media reported, and a reformist party called on Iran's rulers to apologize to the nation two days after eight people died in the wake of anti-government protests.

Yesterday's rallies called for the punishment of opposition leaders for fomenting unrest after June's disputed presidential vote.

There was no serious violence reported yesterday, but opposition websites said several activists were arrested.

The foreign ministry spokesman said the deadly clashes in Teheran in Iran were the work of a tiny minority, and he said Western countries made a miscalculation again by siding with the anti-government protestors.

Here is what he said:

"This is intervention in our internal affairs. We strongly condemn it."

There was no immediate reaction from Britain.

Iranian authorities said late on Monday that they were holding the bodies of five anti-government protesters who died during Sunday's clashes, including the nephew of the opposition leader, in what appeared to be an attempt to prevent activists from using their funerals as a platform for more demonstrations.


(中国日报网英语点津 Helen 编辑)

Iran: West stirs crowds to violence

About the broadcaster:

Renee Haines is an editor and broadcaster at China Daily. Renee has more than 15 years of experience as a newspaper editor, radio station anchor and news director, news-wire service reporter and bureau chief, magazine writer, book editor and website consultant. She came to China from the United States.