Iranian president pursuing release of house arrested leaders

Photo: Iranian president pursuing release of house arrested leaders / Iran

Baku, Azerbaijan, May 1

By Umid Niayesh - Trend:

Iranian president aims to support the rights of every citizen including those who are in prison, Iranian official said commenting on the issue of house arrested opposition leaders.

The spokesman for Iran's administration, Mohammad Baqer Nobakht remarked that the administration sensitively pursues the issue, ISNA news agency reported on May 1.

Nobakht made the remarks during a press conference in Tehran on April 30.

He went on to say that the administration's viewpoint in regard to the house arrests is not a secret from the people or the media.

"However pursuing the release of house arrested leaders in some aspects is out of the administration's authorities," Nobakht underlined. "If we want to give information about this situation in various interviews, perhaps we will not be helping to resolve the issue."

The Iranian opposition leaders Mir Hossein Mousavi and Mehdi Karroubi have been under house arrest since 2011 due to protests against the 2009 disputed presidential election.

In 2009, after Mahmoud Ahmadinejad was elected president of Iran for the second term, the opposition leaders protested the decision, which later resulted in massive protests across Iran, in particular in Tehran. Many people were arrested.

In mid-March the U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon accused Iranian president Hassan Rouhani of not fulfilling campaign promises to allow greater freedom of expression and called for the release of political prisoners in Iran including Karroubi and Mousavi. Iranian hardliners argue that the opposition leaders should remain under house arrest until they "repent."

Iran's Prosecutor General Gholam Hossein Mohseni Ejei accused the opposition leaders of "destruction of public property", claiming that they are also responsible for the people killed.

On April 29, Mousavi was taken to the hospital for urgent heart complications and underwent a heart angiography procedure at Tehran's Heart Hospital.

It's the fifth time that the former prime minister has been admitted to the hospital due to heart problems since his house arrest.

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