iran cleric 298.88.
(photo credit: AP)
Police clashed with demonstrators early Sunday outside the home of a popular Shia Muslim cleric who opposes mixing religion and politics, Iranian newspapers reported.
Authorities fired back with tear gas to scatter the crowd who had gathered outside cleric Hossein Kazemeini Boroujerdi's home in the Islamic Republic's capital, Teheran, according to several nongovernmental papers.
Later Sunday, the Interior Ministry said authorities detained several members of a "religious cult" after they attacked people with knifes and acid.
The ministry, in a statement posted on its Web site, did not name any of those who had been arrested, but the semiofficial Mehr News Agency reported that one of those detained was Boroujerdi.
Telephone calls to Iranian authorities were not immediately returned Sunday, but the Interior Ministry also reported that the demonstrators had blocked roads using swords and acid.
About 200 demonstrators gathered beginning Saturday at Boroujerdi's home, fearing he could be arrested.
Boroujerdi, a mid-ranking cleric, receives hundreds of visitors asking for his blessing at his home every day.
But the 50-year-old cleric is not popular among the hardline clerics under Supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei because he does not support politicizing Islam.
In August, police failed to detain Boroujerdi when his supporters clashed police in front of his home. He was detained twice in 1995 and 2000.