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Funeral in Iran Draws Government Critics, Supporters


The funeral of a slain Iranian professor drew both pro-government and anti-government demonstrators in Tehran Thursday.

An estimated 1,000 mourners took part in a funeral procession for nuclear physics professor Massoud Ali Mohammadi.

Police stood watch as some mourners chanted anti-American and anti-Israeli slogans. Witnesses say others carried green banners in support of Iran's opposition reformists.

Mohammadi's name was among university professors who signed a letter supporting opposition leader Mir Hossein Mousavi in last year's disputed presidential election. The June poll sparked mass opposition protests accusing President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad of stealing the vote.

Mohammadi was killed outside his home in northern Tehran Tuesday, when a remote-controlled bomb on a motorbike exploded.

President Ahmadinejad alleged Thursday the bombing was carried out in what he called a "Zionist" manner, an apparent reference to Israel.

Iran has blamed the United States and Israel for the professor's murder. A U.S. spokesman called the accusation "absurd." Israeli Cabinet Minister Benjamin Ben Eliezer says it is not surprising that Iran is blaming Israel, but says he knows nothing about the incident.

Some information for this report was provided by AP and AFP.

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