Reporters on the Job

Detained in Tehran : On Sunday evening, staff writer Scott Peterson jumped into a cab and went to south Tehran when he heard that another bombing had occurred. Ten people died in six separate bombings Sunday. There were four explosions in Ahvaz, capital of the southwestern province bordering Iraq, and two smaller explosions in Tehran.

It was around 10 p.m. when Scott and his Iranian interpreter arrived on the scene. "It was dark and a crowd of people was there," says Scott. "I was pulling my cameras out of the car when a plainclothes policeman approached and asked for our identification. They radioed somewhere and then took me, my interpreter, and a European photographer and put us into a car," he says.

They were driven to what Scott describes as a Basiji precinct headquarters. "One entire wall was plastered with pictures of Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini," he says. The Basiji are a group of volunteers created by Ayatollah Khomeini and are loyal to today's hard-liners. "We were surprised to find about 15 of our colleagues - Europeans and Iranians - also in detention there. I was the only American. There were Basiji and intelligence police there. We were being held until our credentials could be verified. Of course, that meant there was also no coverage of the aftermath of the bombing," he says.

"We were treated well. We were served juice and dates with nuts. It was more like they were hosting us than arresting us. But it took about two hours to get sorted out. Finally, the Ministry of Islamic Guidance, which issued our press credentials, confirmed that we were legitimate journalists and let us go with smiles and handshakes."

David Clark Scott
World editor

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