Mehdi Karroubi

Iranian authorities stepped up pressure on opposition leader Mehdi Karroubi today, one day after placing him under house arrest, by cutting off all his telephone connections including mobile phones.

Ever since opposition leaders announced they are seeking a permit to stage demonstrations on Febraury 14 in support of Arab uprisings, the government has increased the security forces stationed around Karroubi’s home over the past year to isolate him from outside contact.

The security officials have told Karroubi’s family that no one will be allowed to visit him, and only his wife, Fatemeh Karroubi, can come and go from the building.

Over the past two days, following the launch of a Facebook page for "Bahman 25" (February 14), Islamic Republic authorities have begun a new wave of arrests focused on reformist figures and relatives of the opposition leaders.

Today, as Iran celebrated the anniversary of the 1979 Revolution that toppled the monarchy and led to the establishment of the Islamic Republic, the customary annual marches also included slogans chanted in support of Arab protesters in Egypt and Tunisia.

Hardliner Ahmad Jannati told demonstrators in Esfahan that Iranians have already expressed their solidarity with the Arab people today, so there is no need to set up another date for such a march. He condemned the opposition leaders for their divisive actions.