Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei has rejected President Hassan Rouhani’s proposal to release the leaders of the Green Movement from house arrest, a website close to one of the detainees, Saham News, reported on August 2.
Saham News, a supporter of former parliamentary speakerMehdi Karroubi, says, “The Islamic Republic’s Supreme National Security Council (SNSC), presided by Rouhani, recently decided to enquire Khamenei’s position on the trio, who have been under house arrest since February 2011.”
Responding to the enquiry, Khamenei noted, “There are much more important national issues that should be addressed by the government and SNCC, than the case of house arrests,” SahamNews says.
On July 28, Karroubi’s son, Hossein, told a pro-Green Movement website, Kalemeh, “I have heard that the decision to lift the house arrest was endorsed by the Supreme National Security Council,” adding, “This decision will be presented to the [supreme] leader so that this case can be concluded.”
Though the comment made headlines, Tehran MP GholamrezaHaidari denied it a day later, citing current speaker Ali Larijani.
Meanwhile, according to Saham News, during the last SNSCsession, Rouhani tabled a proposal for releasing Karroubi, along with former Prime Minister Mir Hossein Mousavi and his wife, Zahra Rahnavard, from house arrest. Chief Commander of the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps Mohammad Ali Jafari and judicial head Ayatollah Sadeq Amoli Larijani opposed and argued that, in “Iran’s current situation [looming sactions and tensions with Washington], lifting the house arrest is not in the interest of the establishment.”
Ali Larijani suggested that, before making any decision, the SNSC should learn the supreme leader’s position on the case. Rouhani raised the subject with Khamenei, and he rejected it, Saham News concluded. Khamenei has repeatedly opposed releasing the trio in the past.
Former Prime Minister Mir Hossein Mousavi, 76, and Mehdi Karroubi, 80, were reformist candidates in the controversial presidential election of 2009, which was won by hard-liner incumbent Mahmud Ahmadinejad.
They claimed the vote was rigged, triggering months of mass protests, particularly in Tehran. Hundreds of thousands poured into the streets in the biggest challenge to the system since the Islamic Revolution of 1979.
The pair were placed under house arrest without trial in February 2011, along with Rahnavard, Mousavi’s 66-year-old wife, after calling upon people to attend a rally in support of the Arab Spring.