- ‘Tis the Season: London florist creates $4.6 million Christmas wreath
- No tailgating allowed at Super Bowl XLVIII
- Pentagon to transport African troops to Central African Republic
- Chinese man fed up with his girlfriend’s shopping jumps to his death
- Ukraine leader to talk with protesters; Washington urges caution
- Pope Francis: A nun saved my life
- Israeli P.M. Netanyahu backs out of Mandela funeral
- Elian Gonzalez makes first trip outside Cuba since custody battle
- U.S., British intelligence agents enter online sci-fi world to spy on gamers
- Sarah Palin to host the outdoors show ‘Amazing America’
Iranian opposition leader under house arrest
TEHRAN (AP) — Authorities placed one of Iran’s opposition leaders under house arrest Thursday, posting security officers at his door and detaining one of his aides, in response to his calls for a rally in support of anti-government demonstrations in Egypt, his website said.
Iran’s hard-line rulers — who have also tried to capitalize on the uprising against their regional rivals in Egypt’s U.S.-allied regime — are seeking to deprive their own opponents at home of any chance to reinvigorate a movement swept from the streets in a heavy military crackdown.
The leader confined to his home, Mahdi Karroubi, had joined Iran’s other top opposition figure, Mir Hossein Mousavi, in asking the government for permission to hold a Feb. 14 rally in support of the uprisings in Egypt and Tunisia.
State Prosecutor Gholam Hossein Mohseni Ejehi rejected the demand on Wednesday and warned of repercussions if the rally takes place. Instead, he said those seeking to show solidarity with Egyptian protesters should join a state-organized rally marking the 32nd anniversary of Iran’s 1979 Islamic Revolution on Friday.
Security officers were stationed at the entrance of Mr. Karroubi’s house in Tehran on Thursday and prevented relatives, including one of his sons, from meeting him, according to Mr. Karroubi’s website, sahamnews.org. A security official informed Mr. Karroubi that the restrictions would remain in place until after Feb. 14.
Mr. Karroubi and Mr. Mousavi are the main political adversaries of the hard-line leadership. Both men ran against President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in an election in June 2009 that the opposition believes was rigged. Mr. Mousavi, who campaigned on a platform calling for social and political reforms, maintains he was the rightful winner.
The protests that swept Iran in the days after the vote grew into a larger movement opposed to Iran’s ruling system. It was the biggest challenge faced by Iran’s clerical leadership since it came to power in the 1979 revolution that toppled the U.S.-backed shah.
Hundreds of thousands peacefully took to the streets in support of Mr. Mousavi, and some powerful clerics sided with the opposition.
But a heavy military crackdown suppressed the protests, and many in the opposition — from midlevel political figures to street activists, journalists and human rights workers — were arrested. The opposition has not been able to hold a major protest since December 2009.
The opposition says more than 80 demonstrators were killed in the turmoil. The government, which puts the number of confirmed deaths at 30, accuses opposition leaders of being “stooges of the West” and of seeking to topple the ruling system through street protests.
Mr. Karroubi and Mr. Mousavi have compared the unrest in Egypt and Tunisia with their own postelection protest movement. Mr. Mousavi said Iran’s demonstrations were the starting point but that all the uprisings aimed at ending the “oppression of the rulers.”
A senior commander of the Revolutionary Guard, the most lethal weapon used in crushing Iran’s 2009 protests, had a chilling warning for any attempt by the opposition to rally supporters on Feb. 14.
“Seditionists are no more than a corpse. We will severely crush any of their movements,” the official Islamic Republic News Agency quoted Hossein Hamedani as saying.
A separate report posted on Mr. Karroubi’s website Thursday said one of his aides, Taqi Rahmani, was arrested at midnight by security agents who entered his house. No reason has been given for the arrest.
The liberal-minded Mr. Rahmani spent more than 17 years in jail after Iran’s revolution for his critical writings and political activities against ruling hard-line clerics.
By Brahma Chellaney
Beijing's creeping aggression signals a challenge to U.S. presence in the Asian Pacific
- Chinese man fed up with his girlfriend's shopping jumps to his death
- CURL: Obama tells a whopper on IRS scandal
- Satanists petition for statue at Oklahoma Statehouse
- Lawmakers see 'false narrative' of Obama as a terrorist fighter
- Ted Cruz sees legal landmines ahead for Obamacare
- Obama lied about Syrian chemical attack, 'cherry-picked' intelligence: report
- MILLER: Brady Campaign says Colorado recalls due to NRA, not grassroots opposition to gun control
- Bill OReilly reminds: Nelson Mandela was a communist
- Tech companies call for an end to NSA online snooping
- MSNBC host: Obamacare a 'wealthy white men' racist word
Independent voices from the The Washington Times Communities
Find the latest news and happening that effect those in the Washington D.C., Northern Virginia and Maryland Metro region.
The world impacts us. What happens in our towns, cities, states, country and on this planet makes a difference to us.
Happiness is attainable. Morning to night. I love to teach, deal with folks that have an issue and really wish to tackle it and write.
Brazen, leading-edge, “call it like it is” columns and reporting from Ohio native, radio host and writer, Sara Marie Brenner.
White House pets gone wild!
Let it snow