Hardliner MPs slam U.S. statement on imprisoned Iranian opposition leaders

Hardliner MPs slam U.S. statement on imprisoned Iranian opposition leaders

Baku, Azerbaijan, Feb. 15

By Umid Niayesh - Trend:

Some Iranian hardliner MPs have accused the U.S. of "obvious interference in Iran's internal affairs," due to its statement which condemns the continued house arrest of the opposition leaders Mehdi Karroubi and Mir Hossein Mousavi, the country's Fars news agency reported on Feb. 15.

The U.S. reiterated on Feb. 15, its condemnation of the continued house imprisonment of the opposition leaders, calling for their immediate release.

"Three years ago today, the Iranian government put former presidential candidates and opposition leaders Mehdi Karroubi, Mir Hossein Mousavi, and his wife, women's rights advocate Zahra Rahnavard, under house arrest without formally charging them with any crime," State Department Deputy Spokesperson Marie Harf said in a statement which was published on the official website of the U.S. Department of State.

"We join the international community in condemning their continued imprisonment and the harassment of their family members, and in calling for their immediate release," Harf added.

Member of the Foreign Policy and National Security Commission of the Iranian parliament, Vahid Ahmadi has condemned the U.S. statement and requested Iranian Foreign Ministry to respond to it.

Ebrahim Agha Mohammadi, another member of the Commission also called Iranian diplomatic apparatus to respond to the statement as soon as possible.

Mohammadi also claimed that the statement indicates that the opposition leaders and their supporters are the U.S. allies.

Mohammadi also argued that the U.S. statement is clear violation of the Iran's national sovereignty.

Karroubi and Mousavi 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 straight term, the opposition leaders protested the decision, which later resulted in massive protests across Iran, in particular in Tehran. Many people were arrested and were imprisoned. .

On Feb. 11, Iran's Prosecutor General Gholam Hossein Mohseni Ejei said that the opposition leaders will remain under house arrest until they "repent."

"Some people are pointlessly trying to lift the house arrests, but their efforts will not lead to any result," the prosecutor underlined.

Earlier, Mohammad-Baqer Nobakh, spokesman for Iran's administration said the administration of President Hassan Rouhani is pursuing the release of the jailed opposition leaders as well as political prisoners.

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