Iranian president tries to free opposition leaders
Tehran, Iran, May 24
By Milad Fashtami - Trend:
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani is reportedly trying to free opposition leaders, Mir Hossein Mousavi and Mehdi Karoubi, who have been under house arrest for over three years.
Mohammad Ali Najafi, the Secretary of Iranian government's Economic Coordination Committee, said on May 24 that the president believes this will benefit the Islamic republic and the nation, Iran's Etemaad newspaper reported.
Freeing the opposition leaders was one of Rouhani's main slogans in his presidential campaign.
Iranian opposition leader Mir Hossein Mousavi was taken to hospital on April 29 for urgent heart complications, Iran's oppositional Kaleme website reported. He underwent a heart angiography procedure.
It was the fifth time Mousavi has been admitted to hospital due to heart problems since his house arrest.
Mehdi Karroubi, Mir Hossein Mousavi and Zahra Rahnavard have been under house arrest since 2011 due to protests against the disputed presidential elections of 2009.
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.
On March 18, the senior Iranian judiciary official Mohammad Javad Larijani said he hopes that Mousavi and Karroubi could be freed.
"We hope to see the lifting of house arrest after a final conclusion by judiciary and security officials," Larijani said without providing any further details.
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.
"Their house arrest will not be lifted before they agree to repent," Mohseni Ejei said earlier.