Will Ayatollah Khamenei allow freeing of Green Movement leaders?


Claims are circulating that Iran’s opposition leaders may soon be released after 89 months under strict house arrest.

Opposition media said the Supreme National Security Council has backed the freeing of Mir Hossein Mousavi and Medhi Karroubi — both candidates in the disputed 2009 Presidential election “won” by Mahmoud Ahmadinejad — and Mousavi’s wife, academic and artist Zahra Rahnavard.

“I have heard that the decision to lift the house arrest was approved,” said Karroubi’s son Hossein, according to the Kalameh site which is close to the family.

The decision will be reviewed within the next 10 days by the Supreme Leader, the reports said.

The three Green Movement leaders were detained on February 14, 2011, with the regime fearing a resurgence of mass protests. They have never been charged with an offense, and Ayatollah Khamenei has held out against a public trial, saying the trio are lucky not to have been executed.

President Hassan Rouhani vowed during his 2013 campaign to release political prisoners such as the opposition leaders, but has been curbed by hardliners throughout his five years in office.

Hossein Karroubi said the SNSC has also agreed to lift restrictions on the reformist Mohammad Khatami, President from 1997 to 2005.

Iranian media are barred from showing Khatami’s image or quoting him, and he is blocked from leaving the country or addressing public gatherings.

Currency Falls Almost 15% in Single Day

The historic fall of the Iranian rial was even more dramatic on Sunday, with the currency dropping almost 15%.

The rial shattered the 100,000:1 mark v. the US dollar by the afternoon, reaching 111,000:1. It has lost a third of its value in the past week and about 60% since January.

The Rouhani Government has been unable to check the historic drop. This spring it tried to unify the official rate at 42,000:1, raised interest rates, and gave a discounted level to importers of essential goods. Authorities also threatened imprisonment of unofficial currency dealers.

Regime to Iranians: Please Invest in Our Projects

Facing a crippling shortage of investment amid US sanctions, the regime is asking Iranians to put money into idle state projects.

First Vice President Eshaq Jahangiri said on State TV that the plan will offer attractive prices, flexible terms, and tax holidays to those who take over some of the 76,000 government projects which are unfinished.

Jahangiri implicitly noted that Iranians have been seeking to put money into property and foreign currency as Iran’s rial has lost more than half of its value since January:

Over the past few months, the country’s liquidity has gone into housing, foreign exchange and gold coins, raising prices and provoking public concerns.

A main issue in the meeting…was to find solutions to push liquidity towards employment and activating manufacturing.

Report: Gulf Tourism to Iran Down 85%

The daily newspaper Iran reports an 85% drop in tourists from Gulf States from January 2016, costing the Islamic Republic $2 billion in foreign currency.

The fall came after a crowd set fire to the Saudi Embassy in Tehran, following Riyadh’s execution of a prominent Shia cleric.