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Saturday, November 01, 2014 02:44

Senior members of Iranian clergy commiserate with opposition leader

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Several senior members of the Iranian clergy have issued condolences for the passing of MirHosein Mousavi’s father, MirEsmail Mousavi.

Kaleme opposition website reports that Ayatollah Hashemi Rafsanjani, the head of Iran’s Expediency Council, expressed sympathy for the Mousavi family, adding that they had made many worthy contributions to Islam, the Revolution and the country, as well as to “the pride of several martyrs.”

In a statement issued yesterday, MirHosein Mousavi’s daughters indicated that one of MirEsmail Mousavi’s grandsons was killed in the Iran-Iraq War and another was shot in the post-election protests of 2009 by an unidentified gunman.

Ayatollah Yousef Sanei, a senior Qom cleric, announced his condolences: “I hope all the people who have suffered harm for their struggle to realize people’s rights and in particular his honourable son is released from this illegal house arrest and is once more allowed to enjoy his human rights.”

MirHosein Mousavi and his wife, Zahra Rahnavard, have been under house arrest, since the Iranian opposition leaders called for a solidarity march on February 14 in support of the recent Arab uprisings. Mehdi Karroubi, the other opposition leader, has also been under house arrest with his wife.

Several other clergy members, including Ayatollah Mousavi Ardebili, commiserated with the family of MirEsmail Mousavi.

Ayatollah Dastgheib, the Shiraz representative in the Assembly of Experts and an open critic of the government, addressed his announcement to MirHosein Mousavi. “Although you are under an illegal and anti-religious and even inhumane arrest, in effect and in truth, you are free,” he said. “While you have been illegally isolated, you are in the warm hearts of our pious and freedom-loving people.”

Ayatollah Dastgheib called on the authorities to release Mousavi and Karroubi and their wives, adding that no fair-minded member of the clergy would condone such arrests.

Ayatollah Dastgheib concluded by once again calling on the government to follow the provisions of the constitution and give all political prisoners an unconditional release.

Ayatollah Bayat Zanjani and Ayatollah Montazeri's family also offered messages of condolence to the Mousavi family and urged an end to the house arrests.

But Iranian state media has reported no condolence messages on behalf of government figures.

MirEsmail Mousavi was related to Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei, and prior to the controversial 2009 presidential elections, Ayatollah Khamenei visited MirHosein Mousavi’s father. Pictures of this visit were also published in the media.

Yesterday the funeral of MirEsmail Mousavi was interrupted by security forces, which grabbed the body of the deceased and forced it into an ambulance. The remains were reportedly carried to Tehran’s cemetery and buried under strict security.

MirHosein Mousavi’s daughters reported that crowds of people wished to join the funeral procession, but security forces kept them back.

MirHosein Mousavi and Zahra Rahnavard were reportedly allowed a short visit with the body Wednesday night before the funeral.

A number of people were briefly arrested on Thursday during the funeral.

The Mousavi daughters also report that a commemoration ceremony is being organized for Sunday night and its details will be reported to the public.