By Golnaz Esfandiari, RFE/RL
Iranian Judiciary spokesman Mohseni Ejei was quoted as saying that "[Mir Hossein Musavi's] health is fine" at a September 3 press briefing with reporters. Ejei was responding to a question about the condition of Iran's leading opposition leader and former prime minister, who was last month treated at a coronary-care unit of a Tehran hospital reportedly after his blood vessels became blocked.
Opposition leader Mir Hossein Musavi (file photo)
"There is concern about the health of Mir Hossein Musavi after his heart surgery. What is the view of the judiciary?" a reporter asked Ejei, according to a report by Iran's "Shargh" daily.
Ejei responded that Musavi's health was fine without going into further detail despite a follow-up question about which organization reporters should contact to obtain information regarding Musavi.
Ejei's brief comment marks the first official statement about Musavi's health since he went through an angiography on August 23.
The opposition leader was reportedly transferred back to his house, where he has been held along with his wife since February, one day after he was hospitalized for his heart condition.
Musavi's wife, Zahra Rahnavard, and cleric and former presidential candidate Mehdi Karrubi are also under house arrest.
Musavi, along with wife Zahra Rahnavard and fellow opposition leader Mehdi Karrubi, were put under house arrest some 18 months ago, after they made a call for a street demonstration in solidarity with the Arab Spring-style uprising.
Since then, they have been kept under tight watch and isolated from the outside world.
Officials have suggested that the regime is wary of jailing the two men because of possible angry reactions from their supporters.
A cultural adviser with Iran's powerful Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps, Hamid Reza Moghadamfar, said on September 4 that it is "difficult" to deal with the two opposition figures because of their "positive" past record.
The two men, who ran against President Mahmud Ahmadinejad in the disputed 2009 presidential vote, used to be considered regime insiders. Since the street protests over Ahmadinejad's reelection, however, they have instead been described by Iranian officials as the leaders of a "sedition movement" that aimed at overthrowing the Islamic establishment with outside help.
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