LATEST: Justice Minister — Rouhani Government Will Not Intervene Over House Arrests of Mousavi and Karroubi

SUMMARY: Technical talks between representatives of Iran and the 5+1 Powers begin in Vienna on Wednesday, amid a shift toward optimism in Tehran over the nuclear discussions.

Foreign Ministry official Hamid Ba’eedinejad will lead the Iranian delegation, which includes experts from the Oil Ministry, Industry Minister, Central Bank of Iran, and the Atomic Energy Organization.

On Tuesday, Iran hailed two days of talks with the International Atomic Energy Agency, also in Vienna, as “very productive” over a framework for inspection and supervision of the Islamic Republic’s nuclear facilities.

Meanwhile, last week’s criticism of the US as “dishonest” in its statements was replaced by declarations of hope from Speaker of Parliament Ali Larijani, as he visited China, and from Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Marzieh Afkham.

Justice Minister: Rouhani Government Will Not Intervene Over House Arrests of Mousavi and Karroubi

Justice Minister Mostafa Pourmohammadi said on Wednesday, “The administration will not interfere in this matter” of the house arrests of opposition leaders Mir Hussein Mousavi, Zahra Rahnavard, and Mehdi Karroubi.

Mousavi and Karroubi, both candidates in the disputed 2009 Presidential election, and Mousavi’s wife Rahnavard were detained in February 2011 amid regime fears of renewed protests.

Pourmohammadi had said on October 10 that the house arrests were being reviewed by the Supreme National Security Council.

The Minister played down an accusation by Mousavi’s daughter Narges that she and her sister Zahra were abused and hit by guards when they visited their parents last Thursday: “What could be said about this event is that it is noise from the media.”