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Former president calls for release of Iranian opposition leaders

Source: Radio Zamaneh

Mohammad Khatami former Iranian president spoke out today against the house arrest of opposition leaders MirHosein Mousavi and Mehdi Karroubi, and condemned the “destructive measures” taken against them.

Mousavi, Karroubi, Khatami
Former reformist President Mohammad Khatami (right) has called for opposition leaders Mir Hossein Musavi (left) and Mehdi Karrubi to be freed.

“Why should someone such as Mr. Mousavi and Mr. Karroubi with their stellar background in the Revolution and the Islamic Republic and complete faith in the substance of the regime and the Revolution be under house arrest and subjected to such restrictions?” Khatami said in a meeting with a group of academics and members of the clergy.

Iranian opposition leaders have been forced into a strict house arrest since they called for a rally on February 14 in solidarity with the recent Arab uprisings. After the ministry of interior refused to issue a permit for the demonstrations, the people took to the streets although their leaders were under house arrest and could not join them.

While there has been no official order issued against the two opposition leaders, the head of the judiciary and hardliner Ahmad Jannati head of the Guardian Council announced that Mousavi and Karroubi must be prevented from issuing any further announcements.

Iranian former president went on to say: ‘If all the senior officials that have enjoyed the approval of the Imam (Khomeini), the people and the leadership, are now to be regarded as corrupt, deviant and anti-Revolutionaries, would not the people of the world be right to wonder if the outcome of the Revolution is merely corruption and deviance?”

Mohammad Khatami repeated his earlier recommendations in dealing with the current situation saying that at the threshold of the Iranian New Year, he hoped that the authorities would cease the restrictions imposed on the leaders, release all political prisoners and create a safe and free atmosphere for the people to participate in elections.

Khatami emphasized that the county needs all its pure forces, be they critical of the government or not.

Khatami summed up his view of the past two years of protests to the alleged fraud in the re-election of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and his plan of action for resolving the crisis, saying: “It has been and still is our hope that after two years of unnecessary tension which could have been resolved and prevented with dialogue, communication and respect for national and citizen rights, the country opens up with wisdom and foresight toward cooperation and multilateral progress.”

Senior cleric condemns treatment of Iranian opposition leaders

Ayatollah Dastgheib, a senior member of the Iranian clergy and representative of Fars province in the Assembly of Experts, is calling for the Iranian opposition leaders to be released from house arrest.

Ayatollah Dastgheib
Ayatollah Dastgheyb

Kaleme website reports that in an open letter, Ayatollah Dastgheib has described the treatment of MirHosein Mousavi and Mehdi Karroubi as contrary to constitutional and Islamic law.

The two opposition leaders have been under house arrest since they issued a rally call for people to march in solidarity with the recent Arab uprisings on February 14.

Mousavi and Karroubi, along with their wives, have been completely cut off from any contact with the outside world, and their children have expressed grave concern about the well-being of their parents.

The Campaign for Human Rights in Iran, citing an unidentified source, reported yesterday that the two opposition leaders are no longer under house arrest and have been moved to a secret location referred to as a “safe house.”

“Given the lynch mob-like calls for their execution by numerous Iranian politicians and clerics, there is reason to be deeply concerned for their safety and well being,” a spokesman for the Campaign commented.

The Coordination Council for the Green Path of Hope, the umbrella group that speaks for the Green Movement since the two opposition leaders have been cut off from making public statements, has called on people to demonstrate on March 1 in Tehran and other cities for the release of the two leaders.

Ayatollah Dastgheib reminds the members of Assembly of Experts that they are responsible for monitoring the actions of the Supreme Leader and must speak out against any illegal actions that may be taking place.

The Assembly of Experts, according to Iranian constitution, is charged with monitoring the actions of the Supreme Leader; however, the opposition claims that the Assembly has failed to carry out its duty and has fallen heavily under the influence of the Leader.

Ayatollah Dastgheib also spoke out against violent treatment of peaceful demonstrators, insisting that those who attack them must stand trial. “The government is responsible for protecting the life, property and reputation of the people,” Ayatollah Dastgheib writes.

According to reports from human rights groups, two people were killed and dozens were arrested during the February 14 protests.

... Payvand News - 02/27/11 ... --

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