Iranian cleric says house arrest for Mousavi and Karroubi protection
The leader of Friday Mass prayers in Mashhad accused opposition leaders MirHosein Mousavi and Mehdi Karroubi of treason, telling worshippers that their house arrest is for their own protection.
ISNA reports that Hojjatoleslam Ahmad Elmolhoda told worshippers that the house arrest is aimed at severing the link between the opposition leaders and the U.S.
“They are under house arrest so that they cease being hired slaves and servants of the U.S.,” the hardline cleric told worshippers in Mashhad.
“This house arrest is not prison but it is to cut off their communication with the U.S. and protect their lives,” Elmolhoda said. “Because people could rise and seek to cut them into pieces. Or the monafeghs, who have been fabricating scenarios to create martyrs, might kill them and hold them up as martyrs.”
The Islamic Republic establishment refers to the People’s Mojahedin Organization, the exiled dissident group, as monafeghin. During recent protests in Tehran, some authorities have referred to the death of two protesters on February 14 as a “martyr-making scenario” concocted by the “monafeghin.”
However, the opposition contends that the two men killed on February 14 in Tehran protest were shot to death by security forces.
The isolation of the two opposition leaders and their wives, including a complete blackout of news about their situation, has caused great concern among the opposition.
Even the international community, including the U.S. and German governments, has spoken out against the incarceration of the two opposition leaders and called on the Islamic Republic to release the two couples.
The Islamic Republic has not brought any official charges against Mousavi and Karroubi, and their arrest, whether at their home or as the opposition claims, at a Revolutionary Guard prison, has not been officially declared by any Islamic Republic authority or government body.
The Mashhad Friday Mass leader condemned the February 14 protests saying: “Seven hours after the resignation of Hosni Mubarak, Obama told the White House press headquarters to get Mousavi and Karroubi to give the orders for the February 14 sedition.”
“Treason cannot be more transparent and clearer than this.” Elmolhoda added. “These people [Mousavi and Karroubi] must be prosecuted and brought to justice.”
While Iran’s Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Khamenei has been mostly silent since the February 14 protests, his top adviser on international issues, Ali Akbar Velayati, told FARS news agency: “The elite of the Islamic Republic must clearly express their stance now that the seditionists, especially those two individuals [Mousavi and Karroubi], have revealed their nature.” This indicates that support for Mousavi and Karroubi will no longer be tolerated in the upper echelons of power, despite their prominent place in the history of the Islamic Republic.
Velayati added that all Iranians have a “religious and national duty to stand against any danger that threatens the territorial integrity of the country and the Islamic Republic regime.”
The Iranian establishment accuses the opposition of sedition and foreign ties, allegations that have been categorically denied by the opposition, which claims its goal is popular reform within the framework of the existing constitution.