Iran General NewsIran opposition figure's house under siege: website

Iran opposition figure’s house under siege: website

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Reuters: Iranian paramilitaries surrounded the house of leading opposition figure Mehdi Karoubi Tuesday to prevent the cleric from participating in a religious ceremony, his website said.

TEHRAN (Reuters) – Iranian paramilitaries surrounded the house of leading opposition figure Mehdi Karoubi Tuesday to prevent the cleric from participating in a religious ceremony, his website said.

“Right now there are more than 50 members of the Basij (a volunteer force fiercely loyal to Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei) and plainclothes men who covered their faces around his house,” the Saham News website said.

Karoubi and his fellow opposition leader Mirhossein Mousavi, who came fourth and second respectively in last year’s presidential election, have both previously been attacked by supporters of the government of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. On one occasion Karoubi’s car was destroyed, his son said.

Saham said the plainclothes people, equipped with tear gas, handcuffs and batons, had arrived Monday night.

Karoubi said earlier he intended to attend an annual day of anti-Israel rallies in Iran known as Qods (Jerusalem) Day on Friday, something he will not be able to do if he is prevented from leaving his house.

Karoubi has previously said of attempts to intimidate him that he is “ready to pay a higher price over insisting on my position and I’m not afraid of pressures.”

The June 2009 vote, which the opposition leaders say was rigged to secure the re-election of hard-liner Ahmadinejad, was followed by to mass protests and a rift within the Iranian clerical and political elite.

Iran’s authorities denied the election was rigged and accused Western powers of fomenting the unrest.

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