The Iranian opposition is demanding the release of opposition leaders MirHosein Mousavi and Mehdi Karroubi so they can participate in the coming parliamentary elections. The Iranian constitution stipulates that those elections must be open and competitive, says the opposition.
The participation of reformist figures in the elections set for next March has been a topic of hot political debate in recent months.
Ardeshir Amirarjmand, a spokesman for the Iranian opposition umbrella group the Coordination Council of the Green Path of Hope, told the Kaleme website: “Without the release of Mousavi and Karroubi, the political situation has not really changed… How can we imagine a free election process while the opposition leaders are in chains?”
The Iranian opposition leaders have been under house arrest since February, when they rallied people to march in solidarity with the recent Arab uprisings. Iran’s prosecutor recently told reporters that the house arrest does not necessarily mean the opposition leaders are in custody; he said it is in the best interest of certain people to be restricted, but there are no such provisions in the legal system.
Amirarjmand criticized those statements from Mohseni Ejei, saying they ignore the role of the judiciary and the rule of law.
Amirarjmad also criticized the government for pressuring Iran’s Sunni minority to refrain from praying in their own mosques during public Fetr Eid. Iranian Sunnis in larger cities are not allowed their own mosques.
Amirarjmad, who is MirHosein Mousavi’s spokesman, also expressed support for the people of Azerbaijan who are struggling to save the rapidly drying Lake Oroumiyeh; he emphasized that the Iranian government must heed the demands of all the ethnic and religious groups and minorities living in Iran.
Amirarjmand went on to criticize the Islamic Republic’s shifting stance on the Syrian uprising; he summarized his view, saying: “Reform or a change in the dictatorships that rule in the region must be accomplished by the people of the country, with complete reliance on the courage and wisdom of national forces, not outsiders.”