Iranian commander: Trial of opposition leaders should be held

Iran Materials 3 January 2014 12:51 (UTC +04:00)

Baku, Azerbaijan, Jan. 3

By Umid Niayesh - Trend:

The trial of opposition leaders should be held sooner rather than later, deputy Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps commander for social-cultural affairs Hamid Reza Moghaddamfar said, Tasnim news portal reported on Jan. 3.

He went on to say that Mehdi Karroubi and Mir-Hossein Mousavi should be put on trial under the charge of "mofsed-e-filarz" (corrupts on earth).

'Corrupts on earth' is a specific Iranian charge that carries the death penalty.

Moghaddamfar also expressed the hope that Mousavi and Karroubi would repent.

In late December Iranian Intelligence Minister, Mahmoud Alavai said that the trial of opposition leaders should be held in a fair court, adding that the punishment should correspond to the charge.

On Dec. 29, Iranian influential MP, Ali Motahari urged the judiciary to end the house arrests of Mousavi and Karroubi and put them on trial.

"The protracted house arrests without trial, lack legal or religious justification," Motahari said.

He also repeated his request on the simultaneous open trial of Mousavi, Karoubi and ex-President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

Karroubi and Mousavi have been under house arrest since 2011 due to protests over the 2009 presidential election.

On Nov. 28, Etemaad newspaper quoted spokesman of Iran's administration, Mohammad-Baqer Nobakh as saying that the administration of President Hassan Rouhani is pursuing the release of jailed opposition leaders as well as political prisoners.

He went on to note that the softening political atmosphere in the country is among the priorities of President Hassan Rouhani. Nobakht underlined that the administration prefers to pursue the issue quietly.

On Nov. 22, the head of Iran's Guardian Council, Ahmad Jannati, said that the opposition leaders under house arrest should be thankful for not having been given the death sentence.

He added that the two leaders are alive due to 'Islamic mercy'. The comments were criticised by Motahari.

Edited by S.M.