Iranians have again taken to the streets, this time to celebrate a Shi'ite religious festival.
TV: Crowds in street (2 shots)
SV: Marchers with placards
GV: Armed soldiers on top of building
TV: Crowds in street
SV: Crowd listening to speech from platform
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Background: Iranians have again taken to the streets, this time to celebrate a Shi'ite religious festival. The festival is known as Arabeen Day and marks the fortieth day after the anniversary of the martyrdom of Imam Hossein.
SYNOPSIS: Hossein, one of the Shi'ite sect's spiritual ancestors, was the grandson of the prophet Muhammad, and died in the year six hundred and eighty. Although the festival was largely historic in origin, the tens of thousands of people who took part in marches across the country gave it a revolutionary flavour. In the holy city of Qom, where the Ayatollah Khomeini lives, half a million marched past the home of the revolutionary leader.
Marchers shouted pro-Islamic and anti-American slogans as they went. In most areas the marches were peaceful, but in Tabriz fighting was so heavy that government officials had to barricade themselves into buildings until it was over. The fighting was between rival supporters of the Ayatollah Khomeini and the Ayatollah Shariat-Madari, who leads the minority Azerbaijani-speaking people in the north of the country.