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Switzerland condemns use of force in Iran

Switzerland is “concerned” about reports of violent clashes on Sunday between security forces and demonstrators in Iran, the foreign ministry says.

A ministry statement published by the Swiss news agency on Monday spoke of the “importance of the rights of freedom of expression and peaceful assembly,” and condemned the use of force.

“Switzerland’s position is always that differences of opinion should be solved in peaceful dialogue,” the statement said.

The demonstrations in Tehran and other cities were part of the ongoing opposition protest about the disputed re-election of President Mahmud Ahmedinejad in June. The demonstrators had gathered in large numbers to mark the solemn Shiite festival of Ashura.

Up to 15 people are reported to have been killed, and several leading opposition figures have since been arrested.

The United States, European Union and Russia are among those who have condemned the repression. and agencies