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Conservative figure raises return of Iranian opposition leaders


Source: Radio Zamaneh

A senior member of Iran's conservative faction says the Islamic Republic system is prepared to accept opposition leaders Mir Hossein Mousavi and Mehdi Karroubi if they recant from the position they took following the 2009 elections.

Karroubi and Mousavi, the two reformist candidates in the 2009 presidential election, challenged Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's victory at the polls and made allegations of vote fraud. They are both still under house arrest for calling for street demonstrations in support of the Arab uprisings in 2010.

On Saturday December 8, Habibollah Asgaroladi, a senior member of the Islamic Coalition Society, a top conservative organization, stressed that he does not believe the two reformists candidates in the 2009 election had "seditious" aims but rather that "seditious elements somehow surrounded them."

The Islamic Republic establishment refused to heed allegations of vote fraud in 2009 and instead began a harsh crackdown on street protests, calling them a "seditious move."

Asgaroladi said: "We never say that the 2009 candidates took [seditious] actions because they are basically not seditious. We believe they were falling in line with seditious elements."

After Mousavi and Karroubi refused to accept the legitimacy of Ahmadinejad's presidential victory, many members of the establishment began referring to them as "heads of sedition."

Mir Hossein Mousavi, together with his wife, has been under house arrest since February 2011 without any formal charges being brought against them. Mehdi Karroubi was also incarcerated in the same manner with his wife, Fatemeh Karroubi. Fatemeh Karroubi has since been released, but Mehdi Karroubi remains under house arrest.

With the approach of the presidential elections in June of 2013, the issue of Mousavi and Karroubi's house arrest has come to the foreground once again for Islamic Republic authorities.

Last March, the Tehran Prosecutor had also called on Mousavi and Karroubi to return to acceptance of the system before it became too late.

In the minimal communications reported from Mousavi, Rahnavard and Karroubi from their captivity, they appear to persist in their critical stance against the government.

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