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Karroubi Son Describes Family's Treatment; Diplomatic Heat over Arrests

02 Mar 2011 22:35Comments

Press Roundup provides a selected summary of news from the Iranian press, and excerpts where the source is in English. Tehran Bureau has not verified these stories and does not vouch for their accuracy. Please refer to the Media Guide to help put the story in perspective. You can follow breaking news stories on our Twitter feed.

Iran Standard Time (IRST), GMT+3:30

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Mohammad Taghi Karroubi

10 p.m./March 2 Our columnist Muhammad Sahimi compiled the following news items and commentary:

Mohammad Taghi Karroubi, the second son of Mehdi Karroubi, has written about the arrest of his parents on February 15. He says that a security agent called his brother, Ali, and told him that the house arrest of their parents had ended and they could now be visited. Ali and his wife, Nafiseh Panahi, rushed to the Karroubi home. Upon arrival, however, they were confronted by 30 security agents who had covered their faces. Their father was being held in a room on the first floor of the building, while their mother, Fatemeh Karroubi, was being held on the fifth floor. Ali was allowed to see his father for a moment, but his wife was not. The agents searched the home and confiscated everything, including 700 or so books on religion and Mrs. Karroubi's medication. Mrs. Panahi was reported to be in a state of shock after the way she was handled. This is a woman who lost three of her brothers defending Iran during the Iran-Iraq war. Mrs. Panahi was quoted as saying, "I thought to myself, if they treat a man who was one of the founders of the Islamic Republic and has spent his entire life for it this badly, and if they treat the only woman who received a certificate of appreciation from the Imam [Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini] so badly, how do they treat other supporters of the Green Movement and people whose names are unknown?"

Mrs. Panahi was also interrogated by a female security agent who, according to Mohammad Taghi Karroubi, simply repeated the accusations against the Karroubis that are constantly broadcast by the national state television. Eventually, Ali Karroubi was arrested and his wife was allowed to go home.

Jerzy Buzek, the Polish president of the European Union parliament, strongly condemned the arrest of Mir Hossein Mousavi and Karroubi. In a statement he called for their unconditional and immediate release. He said their arrest was meant to frighten their supporters, and that this action has revealed the true face of the Iranian regime. Amnesty International has also issued a strong statement condemning the arrest and has demanded the immediate release of the two leaders of the Green Movement.

Sweden summoned Iran's ambassador over the arrest of Mousavi and Karroubi. A spokesman for the Swedish Foreign Ministry said that the ambassador did not provide a convincing justification for the arrest and that his government would "follow up this issue very closely."

Likewise, Germany summoned Iran's senior diplomat in the country and demanded an explanation for the arrests. Chancellor Angela Merkel has also criticized the arrest of the Green Movement leaders.

Tehran Prosecutor Abbas Jafari Dolatabadi claimed that nothing unusual happened in Tehran yesterday. He also claimed that Mousavi, his wife, Dr. Zahra Rahnavard, Karroubi, and his wife have not been arrested, but are at home. He said that only their communication with the outside world has been restricted. In response, Mojtaba Vahedi, a Karroubi spokesman in the United States, said that Dolatabadi is afraid that he will be sanctioned by Europe and the United States and is thus trying to send a message that his office is not responsible for the arrest.

Judiciary chief Sadegh Larijani said that he has asked Dolatabadi to investigate the verbal assault on Faezeh Hashemi, daughter of Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani.

In a scathing letter, Majles deputy Ahmad Tavakoli criticized Mahmoud Ahmadinejad for failing to mention Islam in his recent speeches and interviews, and talking only about Iran and Iranian culture and history.

Mostafa Pourmohammadi, head of the National Organization for Inspection, said today that those who have been accused of corruption have good relations with high officials of the country. He did not mention that one of the most important people to have been accused is Mohammad Reza Rahimi, first vice president to Ahmadinejad.

Kalemeh, the website close to Mousavi, reports that because the jails around Tehran are already full, many of the people who have been arrested over the past two weeks have been transferred to military bases.

Mahsa Amrabadi, wife of journalist Masoud Bastani, who was imprisoned after the 2009 election and given a sentence of 15 years, was arrested yesterday. Also arrested was Shahin Jahadi, a well-known activist. Amrabadi was detained last year,as well, and given a suspended jail sentence.

Ayatollah Ali Khamenei's chief of staff and son-in-law, Mohammad Mohammadi Golpayegani, said today that modern technology is being used to attack the Islamic Republic. He claimed that Western powers cannot tolerate Iran's political system, because it does not allow them to loot the nation.

Farah Vasehan, who was been arrested in December 2009 after the Day of Ashura demonstrations, has been given a prison sentence of 17 years. She was originally sentenced to death. She is to be imprisoned in Rajaei Shahr prison in Karaj, west of Tehran.

Davood Kahnamooei, member of the Islamic Iran Participation Front and leader of Mousavi's reformist supporters in Tabriz, was arrested yesterday after the demonstrations there.

Iranian diplomat Ahmad Malaki, who used to work in the Iranian Embassy in Italy and recently resigned in protest, said today that Iran's leaders prefer bloodshed to the prospect of the opposition coming to power. He said that the Iranian people have been inspired by what is going on in north Africa, while the regime that they are dealing with is much more brutal than those in Egypt and Tunisia.

Ahmadinejad warned the Western powers against intervening in Libya. He accused the United States and its allies of using propaganda in order to justify intervention there.

Rear Admiral Gregory Smith, who is in charge of public communications for NATO forces, accused Iran of supporting the Taliban. Foreign Ministry spokesman Ramin Mehmanparast dismissed the charge as baseless. He said that the American troops have to leave Afghanistan and therefore the United States is trying to blame others for the insecurity there.

Copyright © 2011 Tehran Bureau

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