Iranian Opposition Figure Under House Arrest

Via the BBC:  Iran: Mehdi Karroubi ‘house arrest’ after protest call

Mr Karroubi and Mir-Hossein Mousavi, another opposition leader, had called for a rally on Monday to support the popular uprisings in Egypt and Tunisia.

The authorities refused permission, calling it a political move.

Although Iran’s establishment supports the Egyptian popular protests, a spokesman for Iran’s judiciary said on Wednesday that Iranians should show their solidarity by taking part in official rallies this Friday to commemorate the anniversary of Iran’s revolution.

Choosing another day to hold a rally means that the opposition leaders "wish to be in a separate front and will create divisions", he told a news conference in Tehran.

Mr Karroubi, a 72-year-old cleric and former parliament speaker, ran against President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad during the disputed 2009 election which returned the hardline leader to power.

A main take-away here is that the previously observed fractures in Iranian politics remain active (not that that is a surprise).

What is amusing is the assertions that the opposition’s desire to hold their own rally is “a political move” since the official rally, as well as the government’s response to the opposition’s plans are all political moves.

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Steven L. Taylor
About Steven L. Taylor
Steven L. Taylor is a Professor of Political Science and a College of Arts and Sciences Dean. His main areas of expertise include parties, elections, and the institutional design of democracies. His most recent book is the co-authored A Different Democracy: American Government in a 31-Country Perspective. He earned his Ph.D. from the University of Texas and his BA from the University of California, Irvine. He has been blogging since 2003 (originally at the now defunct Poliblog). Follow Steven on Twitter