PHOTO: Detained opposition leaders Zahra Rahnavard & Mir Hossein Mousavi
The campaign by key groups within Iran against “sedition” — protests after the disputed 2009 Presidential election — continues.
The latest shot was fired by former Intelligence Minister Heydar Moslehi, who said evidence showed a plot of “international intrigue and design”, started a year before the June 2009 ballot that supposedly re-elected Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.
Moslehi claimed that the opposition’s campaign pamphlets, the slogan of protesters, and activity on the Internet pointed to American involvement.
For weeks, leading politicians, military commanders, and clerics have been denouncing the demonstrations of 2009 as a foreign-backed attempt at a coup. The Supreme Leader’s office has joined in, putting out a high-profile announcement that welcomed the guilty verdict against more than 100 Iranian public figures in a Tehran show trial in August 2009 — it said the “sin” of “sedition” was “unforgivable”.
However, the campaign appears to be more about 2014 than 2009. After the release of some political prisoners in the autumn, talk circulated that President Rouhani might look at the lifting of the strict house arrests imposed on 2009 Presidential candidates Mir Hossein Mousavi and Mehdi Karroubi and Mousavi’s wife Zahra Rahnavard. One MP, Ali Motahari, led the calls in Parliament.
The three have been detained since February 2011.
Since the campaign escalated last month, the Rouhani Government has been silent on the issue, with Motahari waging a now-isolated effort for review of the sentences of political prisoners. The MP has now been indicated by the judiciary for his statements.
“Sedition” Campaign to Hit Rafsanjani Family?
It looks like the campaign against the 2009 “sedition” may soon pull in the family of former President Hashemi Rafsanjani.
Iran Prosecutor General Gholam Hossein Mohseni Ejei has spoken about the judiciary’s diligence in handling the case against Rafsanjani’s son Mehdi Hashemi, accused of financial impropriety and electoral manipulation over the disputed 2009 Presidential election.
Mehdi Hashemi left Iran for Britain after the election, but returned in September 2012 and was arrested. He was freed on bail three months later.