Officials announced Sunday that Ayatollah Ali Khamenei ordered the hardline judiciary to review the sentence of reformist academic Hashem Aghajari. Mr. Aghajari -- a veteran of the Iran-Iraq war -- was recently sentenced to die for questioning clerical rule in Iran.
Analysts said Ayatollah Khamenei's intervention after several days of student rallies revealed how concerned the leadership has been over the situation.
Student protests entered their second week Sunday. The French News Agency (A-F-P) reports about 300 paramilitary forces attacked student demonstrators in north Tehran and destroyed a campus building at Tehran University.
Nearly two-thirds of Iran's parliament -- dominated by reformists -- said last week it wanted the sentence of Mr. Aghajari lifted. The reformists -- allied to President Mohammad Khatami -- enjoy popular support but have run into resistance from conservatives who control the judiciary and other key state functions.
Last week, President Khatami said the sentence against Mr. Agahjari was inappropriate and should never have been issued.