Extra: Ebrahim Yazdi, Revolution's Second Foreign Minister, Arrested
02 Oct 2010 00:53
Iran Opposition Figure Yazdi Detained: Report
Reuters | Oct 1
Iran detained opposition politician Ebrahim Yazdi Friday, the official IRNA news agency reported, in the latest crackdown on the pro-reform movement in the Islamic state.
Yazdi, who heads the banned Freedom Movement, was foreign minister in Iran's first government after the 1979 Islamic revolution that overthrew the U.S.-backed shah, but was sidelined as religious hardliners took over. [Yazdi was foreign minister after Karim Sanjabi.]
"An informed source has informed IRNA that Ebrahim Yazdi ... was arrested Friday afternoon in the city of Isfahan," the news agency reported.
Yazdi was twice detained after Iran's disputed election in June 2009. He is an important opposition voice in Iran but has no influence on state policy and limited popular support.
[As early as June 2008, Yazdi advocated the elimination of the doctrine of Velaayat-e Faghih (guardianship of the Islamic jurist, as represented by the Supreme Leader) from the Iranian Constitution. Yazdi, who has suffered from prostate cancer, was pulled from his hospital bed and arrested on June 17, 2009. He was held for five days. After his release, he was rearrested at home on December 27 at three in the morning. He is now 79 years old.]
[The Freedom Movement of Iran was founded in 1961 in Tehran by political and religious figures associated with former Prime Minister Mohammad Mosaddegh, including Mehdi Bazargan and Ayatollah Mahmood Taleghani. It was a leading source of resistance to the regime of Mohammad Reza Shah Pahlavi, and its members played crucial roles in the revolutionary movement led by Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini. After the 1979 Revolution, the group was increasingly marginalized due to its opposition to the growing political influence of the conservative clerical establishment, and it was ultimately banned in 2000.]
Iran Arrests Heads of Banned Group
Press TV | Oct 1
Iranian security forces have arrested the head of the Freedom Movement of Iran and another senior member of the banned organization, an informed source says.
Ebrahim Yazdi, the secretary general of the Freedom Movement of Iran was detained [...] along with the party's number two, Hashem Sabbaghian, IRNA reported.
The detainees were arrested after they appeared in a Friday Prayers mass led by a well-known Wahhabi element in the central Iranian city.
Iranian authorities had earlier ordered the cancellation of prayers by the extremist elements but Yazdi and Sabbaghian had encouraged the Wahhabi figures to reopen it, the source added.
Having been arrested during the frenzy after the 2009 presidential election in Iran, Yazdi had been released on bail.
Despite a pledge to give up his illegal activities, Yazdi has reportedly expanded the scope of his group's activities.
[Press TV is a subsidiary of Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting. The particulars of this report have not been verified by Tehran Bureau.]