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Iran says opposition leaders not under house arrest

Source: Radio Zamaneh

The head of the Iranian parliament's National Security Commission denies that opposition leaders are under house arrest, saying they are just being "escorted" by government security forces.

Poster: Mir Hossein Mousavi and Mehdi Karroubi -- house arrest
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Alaeddin Boroujerdi, head of the National Security and Foreign Policy Commission, made the statements in an interview with the Italian daily il Manifesto. "This is not so," he said when the subject of the house arrests was raised. "These people are under escort. They also have committed certain illegal acts such as organizing protests without a permit, and for this they may become subject to prosecution."

On February 14, Iranians responded to a rally call from opposition leaders and took to the streets en masse. The renewed opposition street protests, which had been silenced for more than a year, came as a shock to the establishment, and the following day the parliament opened with conservative MPs shouting "Death to Mousavi and Karroubi!" and calling for their execution.

On that subject, Boroujerdi said, "The judiciary and the legislative branches of the government are independent. Decisions regarding prosecution and sentencing are the responsibility of the judicial system. However, the lawmakers have expressed their opinion."

Opposition websites report increased pressure is being brought to bear on the opposition leaders following the February 14 protests. The children of Mousavi and Karroubi say they have been prevented from receiving any news from their parents in the past two weeks.

The dead-end road where the Mousavi home is located has been blocked by two steel gates in the past week, and security forces have completely taken over the building where the Karroubis live.

In the meantime, Tehran has been reportedly overrun with security forces.

Despite the stepped-up security measures and the complete isolation of the opposition leaders, Iran's intelligence minister has dismissed the February 14 protests as demonstrations by a handful of "anti-Revolutionaries, Baha'is, Monarchists and monafeghin," which is the term used for the dissident group, People's Mojahedin Organization of Iran.

During today's Friday Mass sermon, hardliner Ayatollah Emami Kashani told worshippers that anyone who stands against the Revolution will be destroyed.

... Payvand News - 02/26/11 ... --

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