Mobs attack home of Iranian opposition leader

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Mousavi has kept a lower profile recently than Karroubi. But Mousavi’s wife, Zahra Rahnavard, was surrounded and mocked last week by a group of hard-liners, according to the Mousavi-backed website Kaleme.

Last week, opposition websites carried a copy of a purported government directive banning all Iranian newspapers and news agencies from mentioning the three pro-reform leaders or showing their pictures.

Mousavi condemned the attack on Karroubi’s home, saying it proved the government’s “enmity against Israel is an excuse” for attacking opposition figures. “Karroubi and figures like him and other freedom-seekers are the real enemies of authoritarians.”

Karroubi, meanwhile, was visited by well-wishers including Yasser Khomeini, a grandson of the Islamic Republic’s founder, the late Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, according to Sahamnews.

Elsewhere in Tehran, Ahmadinejad addressed a rally for Quds Day, or Jerusalem Day, which is used to both support Palestinians and condemn Israel. In his speech, Ahmadinejad said Israel and its supporters are too weak to attack Iran’s nuclear facilities.

Israel, the United States and other nations believe Iran intends to develop atomic weapons under the cover of its civil nuclear power program. Iran denies that, saying its nuclear work is only for peaceful purposes.

The Iranian leader also dismissed the Israeli-Palestinian peace talks held in Washington this week, saying “the fate of Palestine will be decided in Palestine and through resistance and not in Washington.” Iran supports the Palestinian militant group Hamas.

Meanwhile, Egypt canceled a visit by Iran’s foreign minister, Manouchehr Mottaki, to protest comments in which he accused Arab leaders of betrayal for attending the new round of Mideast peace talks in Washington.

Mottaki had been scheduled to visit Cairo Monday for a meeting of Nonaligned Movement members.

Iran has an uneasy relationship with U.S.-allied Arab nations, which have watched Tehran’s growing influence in the Middle East with concern because of suspicions over its nuclear program and its support for radical Islamic groups like Hamas and Hezbollah.

Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak and Jordanian King Abdullah II attended the talks in Washington.

Iran severed ties with Egypt after it signed a peace deal with Israel in 1979 and provided asylum to Iran’s deposed Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi.

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Murphy reported from Dubai, United Arab Emirates.

 

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