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Hundreds stage anti-France demo outside France Embassy

TEHRAN — Hundreds of people shouted slogans on Monday outside the French embassy in protest against the holding of a rally in France by Iran’s main exiled opposition group.

"Shame on (President Nicolas) Sarkozy! Death to France! Shame on you, France, let go of the hypocrites!" chanted the crowd as police set up barricades outside the embassy in central Tehran, an AFP photographer said.

Iranians call exiled opposition group the People’s Mujahedeen of Iran (PMOI) "hypocrites," and Monday’s demonstration was organised to protest against a PMOI rally outside Paris on Saturday.

The state news agency IRNA reported that the demonstrators also shouted slogans and carried banners denouncing the Islamic republic’s arch-foes the United States and Israel.

The French embassy was closed as police prevented protesters from throwing eggs and water bottles at the building, IRNA said.

The protest organisers, an Iranian association representing families of those reportedly killed in attacks by the PMOI, also accused France of sheltering members of the group and demanded that they be handed over.

Saturday’s PMOI rally in France was attended by tens of thousands of opponents of Iran’s clerical regime, as well as by prominent Western political heavyweights.

The rally by the PMOI, which Washington considers to be a terrorist organisation, was attended by former US ambassador to the United Nations John Bolton and Jose Maria Aznar, the former prime minister of Spain.

The PMOI advocates the overthrow of the Islamic Republic of Iran, and is a major member of the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI), the political umbrella organisation of exiled Iranian opposition groups.

It also sided with Saddam Hussein’s forces during the Iran-Iraq war of the 1980s.
The group has claimed several attacks inside Iran since the Islamic revolution of 1979 installed a clerical regime following the ouster of the US-backed shah.

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