Gholamhossein Mohseni Ejei

The Iranian judiciary confirmed taking steps against opposition leaders MirHosein Mousavi and Mehdi Karroubi, a judiciary spokesman said today emphasizing further steps will be taken whenever necessary.

The statement by Gholamhosein Mohseni Ejei is the first official confirmation that the government is taking measures against Mousavi and Karroubi. The two men, along with their wives, have been under house arrest for more than two weeks. Recent reports say they were moved to an unknown location two days ago. The International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran says they are now at a so-called “safe house” outside the capital.

“In terms of the leaders of sedition,” he said, “we primarily restricted their visitors, telephone and all other contact and if necessary, we will take further steps in dealing with them.”

Sedition is the term used by the Iranian establishment to describe the popular protests that erupted following the controversial re-election of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. MirHosein Mousavi and Mehdi Karroubi, the chief challengers of the 2009 election results, are referred to as “leaders of sedition.”

Mohseni Ejei said, “Certain people who refused to change their previous stances, despite warnings, are now subjected to restrictions.”

He added that the “seditious movement” has entered a new phase and “the hand of foreigners and U.S. instigation is evident in it… It is only natural that they receive a different political treatment.”

Several reformists figures and senior members of the clergy have condemned the treatment of the two opposition leaders and their wives calling it illegal and against Islam. The opposition has announced it will stage further street demonstrations on March 1 to demand their release.