The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Pro-reform Iran leaders’ trial put off

Tehran, Nov. 30 (Reuters): Iran’s hardline judiciary has postponed the trial of four student leaders of the largest pro-reform protests for three years to defuse the tension at the university campuses, a student leader said today.

The four organisers were arrested on Tuesday and released next day but had been ordered to appear before a Tehran branch of the Revolutionary Court today to face charges of acting against national security.

The arrests followed two weeks of almost daily rallies to protest the death sentence given to dissident academic Hashem Aghajari for questioning the clerical establishment.

The sentence sent shock waves through university campuses in Iran and caused clashes between protesters and hardliners.

“For softening the atmosphere the court has postponed the hearing session to an indefinite date,” student leader Hadi Kahalzadeh told Reuters of the case against his fellow leaders.

The official Irna news agency said today that the hearing session had been put off to seek more evidence related to the case.

The arrests were widely seen as part of a power struggle between moderate backers of President Mohammad Khatami and entrenched conservatives who control most key levers of power in Iran, including the judiciary and armed forces.

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