Ahmadinejad says Egyptian protests herald new Mideast

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Iran is applying increased pressure to keep opposition groups from seizing the moment with rallies linked to the Egyptian crisis.

Security forces have arrested several opposition activists, including aides to Iran’s opposition leaders.

Authorities also placed Mahdi Karroubi, one of Iran’s opposition leaders, under house arrest, posting security officers at his door in response to his calls for an Iranian opposition rally in support of the demonstrations in Egypt.

Mr. Karroubi’s website, sahamnews.org, said security officials informed Mr. Karroubi that the restrictions would remain in place until after Feb. 14.

State Prosecutor Gholam Hossein Mohseni Ejehi rejected an appeal for marches by Mr. Karroubi and fellow opposition leader Mir Hossein Mousavi, who was declared the runner-up in June 2009 elections that critics say were rigged to give Ahmadinejad victory.

Hossein Hamedani, a senior commander of Iran’s powerful Revolutionary Guard, said any attempt by the opposition to rally supporters on Feb. 14 would be crushed.

Mr. Mousavi’s aide Saleh Noghrehkar and Sadroddin Beheshti, son of another Mousavi aide, Ali Reza Beheshti, were among those arrested, according to opposition website kaleme.com. The website said another opposition activist, Fariba Ebtehaj, a close aide to former reformist Vice President Masoumeh Ebtekar, has also been arrested.

In London, the British Broadcasting Corp. said the signal for its Persian service was being jammed beginning late Thursday from a source in Iran. The BBC said it believes the action was an attempt to block its extensive coverage of the Egyptian protests.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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