Iran’s Deputy Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian has said that the Syrian crisis is a plot hatched by the West and Israel.
Meeting the head of Lebanon’s Coalition of Muslim Scholars on Monday, Amir-Abdollahian said the uprising was launched in March 2011 as part of the Western-Israeli resistance to Islam.
Iran provides essential military and economic aid — including a $3.6 billion line of credit — to the Assad regime. Amid nuclear talks with the US and other powers, its officials have not been as strident recently in their statements on Syria, although official media repeatedly denounced the alleged US-Western-Saudi-Israeli creation of the opposition to President Assad.
Detained Opposition Leader Mousavi Admitted to Hospital
Opposition leader Mir Hossein Mousavi has been moved from strict house arrest to hospital with a heart condition.
Intelligence officers transferred Mousavi earlier today, his daughters Narges and Kokab said. His family was not allowed to accompany him.
This is the fifth time that Mousavi has been admitted to hospital since his house arrest was imposed in February 2011.
Narges Mousavi claimed on Facebook that security guards had repeatedly beaten her father since April 17 and that her Viber connection with him had been broken.
Kokab Mousavi referred to intelligence officers as “dirty, shameless and faithless kidnappers” on her Facebook page, accusing them of trying to kill her father.
“We are tired of this,” she posted. “We are tired of your cruelty.”
Prosecutor General: Opposition Leaders Mousavi, Karroubi, and Rahnavard Will Not Be Freed
Iran Prosecutor General Gholam Hossein Mohseni Ejei has said that no decision has been taken to end the 38-month house arrests of opposition leaders Mir Hossein Mousavi, Mehdi Karroubi, and Zahra Rahnavaard.
Gholamhossein Mohseni Ejei told a press conference: “In the election of 2009, a number of people caused injury to the regime. In the process, a number of people and Basij members were killed. Therefore, there was a great injury that was exploited by the country’s enemies.”
Mousavi was the primary challenger to Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in the 2009 vote, which the latter “won” amid allegations of manipulation. Karroubi also stood in the campaign. Rahnavard, Mousavi’s wife, is a prominent academic, artist, and activist.
Mohseni Ejei maintained that the opposition leaders had been treated with great mercy, and that they could have been sentenced to a more severe punishment.
He warned that the alternative to the house arrests would be a trial and lengthy stay in prison, “If a group of people wants these people released, a larger group wants them to receive the maximum sentence.”
Baha’i University Lecturer Imprisoned for Her Teaching
Nasim Baqeri, a lecturer at the Virtual University of Baha’is, was arrested on Sunday to serve a four-year sentence.
Baqeri was deatined by four Intelligence ministry officers who also searched her home.
The lecturer has been convicted of “propaganda against the regime and acting against national security through membership in an illegal institution”.
Iranian authorities have banned the Virtual University of Baha’is, which provides educational services to Baha’i students who have been denied entry into regular Iranian universities.
Many members of the Baha’i faith, which is considered illegal by the Islamic Republic, have been imprisoned or had their property seized.
Rouhani: Final Nuclear Deal Possible by July 20
President Rouhani, meeting Austrian Foreign Minister Sebastian Kurz, has expressed confidence that a comprehensive nuclear agreement can be reached by July 20, when an interim Joint Plan of Action expires:
We believe that if the P5+1 countries have the necessary determination in this regard, it will be possible to reach a final deal within the time frame set for the implementation of the interim agreement.
This agreement will be absolutely beneficial to both sides, the region and the world because Iran currently holds a sensitive regional position and cannot be isolated with its rich resources and great history and civilization.
Iran and the 5+1 Powers resume high-level negotiations in Vienna on May 13.
Former President Hashemi Rafsanjani, Rouhani’s political mentor, echoed the message to Kurz: “Should the West want to resolve the issue technically, it would not take a long time because ground is ready for a final agreement.”