DATE=3/26/2000 TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT TITLE=IRAN/SHOOTING (L-ONLY) NUMBER=2-260623 BYLINE=LISA BRYANT DATELINE=CAIRO CONTENT= VOICED AT: INTRO: Iran has arrested more than 10-people in connection with the March 12th assassination attempt on a reformist leader allied to President Mohammed Khatami. Lisa Bryant reports from Cairo that Iranian government officials say unspecified Islamic extremists, not political hardliners, are behind the shooting. TEXT: Iran's information minister, Ali Yunesi, says those behind the shooting of Saeed Hajjarian are not affiliated with any political group or guild. Mr. Yunesi said although one of those arrested was a part- time member of the Islamic Revolutionary Guards, the suspect had been - deceived into joining the would-be assassins. Mr. Hajjarian, the publisher of a leading reformist daily, was seriously wounded in the shooting, and doctors feared he would die. But he survived, and Iran's official news agency reports physicians say his mental and physical condition has improved in recent days. The assault has drawn widespread condemnation in Iran, not just from moderates, but also from political conservatives. Last week, Iran's supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, called for a speedy investigation into the shooting. Nonetheless, reformists say they believe members of the country's hard-line security services - including the Revolutionary Guards -- may have been behind the attack and are trying to cover up the evidence. But Information Minister Yunesi told reporters there were no obstacles hampering the government's investigation. He said the Intelligence Ministry would - discover the roots of the plot. He said five people, including the main suspect in the drive-by shooting, have been arrested. Mr. Yunesi also said the suspects appeared to have acted for personal rather than political reasons, and did not seem to be linked to a foreign plot. Earlier, the minister said Iranian officials were investigating possible links to foreign agents or to the opposition Mujahedeen Khalq group. The insurgency group, which has bases in Iraq, has been accused of recent attacks on Iran. Mr. Hajjarian is considered one of the key architects behind the reformist sweep of February's parliamentary elections. Following the shooting two-weeks ago, reformist leaders called for the government to swiftly track down the assailants, but said the attack would only strengthen the reform movement. (SIGNED) NEB/LB/ALW/RAE 26-Mar-2000 10:59 AM EDT (26-Mar-2000 1559 UTC) NNNN Source: Voice of America .