Iran Daily: Opposition Leader Karroubi Returned to House Arrest After Hospital Stay

Iran’s opposition leader Mehdi Karroubi has been returned to his 78-month house arrest after almost three weeks in hospital for a low heart rate.

Karroubi was seized in February 2011, along with fellow leaders Mir Hossein Mousavi and Zahra Rahnavard, amid regime fears of ongoing protests following the disputed 2009 Presidential election.

Mousavi was the leading challenger to the “winner”, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, and Karroubi also stood. Mousavi’s wife Rahnavard is a prominent artist and academic as well as a political activist.

Karroubi was initially hospitalized on July 24. He was ordered back to his house by Intelligence Ministry officials three days later, against the advice of doctors, but returned to hospital on July as his condition worsened. Several MPs tried to visit the Green Movement leader, but were denied permission.

The daughters of Mousavi say that their father is suffering from high blood pressure, dizziness, and chronic kidney problems, but that they have been able to get information on his condition since a visit on July 25.

The families are holding President Hassan Rouhani, who promised in his 2013 campaign that he would free political prisoners, for the fate of the three leaders.

Rouhani was blocked by the Supreme Leader from taking any action to ease the situation, let alone free the trio. Ayatollah Khamenei has repeatedly denied appeals, including from MPs, for a free and fair open trial.

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Scott Lucas is Professor of International Politics at the University of Birmingham and editor-in-chief of EA WorldView. He is a specialist in US and British foreign policy and international relations, especially the Middle East and Iran. Formerly he worked as a journalist in the US, writing for newspapers including the Guardian and The Independent and was an essayist for The New Statesman before he founded EA WorldView in November 2008.

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