Iran presses opposition not to go ahead with rally

Friday, February 11, 2011

TEHRAN/NEW YORK - Iranian authorities are putting pressure on the country’s political opposition not to go ahead with a rally in support of the popular uprisings in Tunisia and Egypt.

Security forces have reportedly been deployed outside the home of reformist cleric Mehdi Karroubi, one of the country’s most prominent opposition leaders, prevented Mr. Karroubi’s son from seeing his father on Thursday, according to the son, Hossein.

In an interview with an Arabic-language news Web site, Al Arabiya, Hossein Karroubi, who is politically active, said that the security forces told him that other family members, except his mother, were also barred from seeing his father.

According to the New York Times, another government critic, Mir Hussein Moussavi, had submitted a formal request to the government to hold the rally on February 14.

Opposition Web sites have also reported the arrest of a number of people associated with the two opposition leaders.

On Wednesday night, Taghi Rahmani, an activist close to Karroubi, and Mohammad-Hossein Sharifzadegan, a former welfare minister and an adviser to Mr. Moussavi, were arrested at their homes by Iran’s security forces.

The eeb sites also reported Thursday that two reformist journalists had been arrested.

On Wednesday, Iran’s top prosecutor, Gholam-Hossein Mohseni-Ejehi, said that the request to hold a demonstration separate from the annual government-sponsored rally to mark the anniversary of the Islamic Revolution, scheduled for Friday, was “political” and “divisive.”

The last opposition protests against the elections were held more than a year ago and were halted after the government crackdown killed scores and left many government critics imprisoned. (ANI)

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