Reports: Iran arrests 7 opposition activists, stepping up

TEHRAN, Iran (AP) - Opposition Web sites and activists say Iranian security forces have been carrying out raids on opposition offices today.

At least seven prominent anti-government activists have been arrested. According to various Web sites, they include three top aides to opposition leader Mir Hossein Moussavi, former Foreign Minister Ebrahim Yazdi and human rights activist Emad Baghi.

Yazdi served as foreign minister after the 1979 Islamic revolution and is now leader of the banned but tolerated Freedom Movement of Iran.
The action follows a day of violent clashes in Tehran in which eight protesters were killed during anti-government marches marking Shiite Islam's most important observance, Ashoura. The bloodshed is some of the heaviest in months, and it's drawn an especially harsh condemnation from one opposition leader.

Mahdi Karroubi, who ran in the June presidential election, posted a statement on an opposition Web site comparing the government to the shah's regime ousted by the Islamic Revolution three decades ago. He says even the that government respected the holy day.

(Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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