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Disputes Over Who Speaks for Incarcerated Iranian Opposition Leader Mehdi Karroubi


Source: Radio Zamaneh

Fatemeh Karroubi, the wife of detained Iranian opposition leader Mehdi Karroubi, says her husband has no spokesperson abroad. The Jaras opposition website quoted unidentified sources in Tehran saying: "Since October 22, Mehdi Karroubi has no spokesperson outside the country and his position on issues will be announced solely through members of his family."

Mehdi Karroubi
Mehdi Karroubi

Mehdi Karroubi, one of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's opponents in the 2009 presidential elections, has been held under house arrested since February, when he and Mir Hossein Mousavi, the other opposition leader, called for Iranians to march in solidarity with Arab uprisings in the region.

Mousavi and his wife, Zahra Rahnavard, are also under house arrest.

The Jaras report indicates: "A while ago, in a telephone conversation, Fatemeh Karroubi reminded a number of Mehdi Karroubi's supporters outside Iran that his ideas regarding the independence of the Green Movement and his refusal of any foreign support are completely clear, and those who do not agree with these unchanging principles are not allowed to present themselves as Karroubi's spokesperson or aide."

Fatemeh Karroubi appears to be referencing recent statements triggered by U.S. Foreign Secretary Hilary Clinton, who said the U.S. does not support the Green Movement because a number of opposition figures had asked it not to do so. Clinton added that if these figures had asked the U.S. to extend its support, it would have done so.

Mojtaba Vahedi, a former Karroubi aide, reacted to Clinton's statements by saying: "If the U.S. government is looking for a way to help the Iranian people, it should find a way to do its duty vis-a-vis Iranians without interfering in Iran's affairs or the [Green] movement."

Meanwhile, Saham News, the website of Mehdi Karroubi's National Trust Party, rejected the report published by Jaras and announced that all announcements and news regarding Mehdi Karroubi will only be published through Saham News.

Jaras insists, however, that the statements attributed to Fatemeh Karroubi are correct.

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