Eight aides to President Abolhassan Bani-Sadr have been arrested, Iranian state radio said. The arrests were announced shortly after the Iranian parliament approved ground rules for Mr. Bani-Sadr's impeachment and followed an explosion at the President's office.
Islamic Revolution, the newspaper that reported the explosion, did not say if anyone had been hurt in the blast or give any cause for it. Mr. Bani- Sadr, who has not been seen in public since last Thursday, could not be reached for comment.
Some 138 of the 183 deputies in the 270-member parliament voted earlier to discuss, with "double urgency," the President's competence to remain in office; it is the assembly's highest priority on a topic. The vote followed a stormy debate in which one deputy spoke up for Mr. Bani- Sadr, but only on principle.
Earlier, 138 of the deputies approved an impeachment debate plan that would give Mr. Bani-Sadr 10 hours to defend himself against his opponents, who would have 10 hours to prove his incompetence. The plan called for voting in open session on the charges , with the verdict decided by "absolute majority vote."