The Iranian opposition announced today that a "firm demand of the Green Movement" is that the government end the strict house arrest imposed on the movement’s leaders, MirHosein Mousavi and Mehdi Karroubi.
Ardeshir Amirarjmand, who has emerged as the opposition’s top spokesman for the opposition movement since Mousavi’s house arrest one week ago, told Kaleme website: "Incarceration and imposing restrictions on the proud friends of the movement, far from discouraging the people, create a fresh and stronger motivation for protesters to persist in attaining their legitimate demands."
Government pressure on Mousavi and Karroubi was heightened after they began calling for renewed protests to take place last Monday. For more than a week, both men have been kept prisoner in their own homes deprived from any contact with the outside world.
Amirarjmand, a top aide to Mousavi, pointed to yesterday’s massive deployment of security forces in Tehran and other major cities, adding: "As we had predicted, the atmosphere of fear and intimidation created by the presence of plainclothes and special security forces did not prevent people from commemorating their martyrs and protesting against oppression."
The Coordination Council of the Green Path of Hope had called on its supporters to take to the streets yesterday to honour the memory of Saneh Jaleh and Mohammad Mokhtari, who were killed during protests last Monday.
According to human rights websites, hundreds of people were arrested yesterday in Tehran along with many more in other major cities, including Shiraz and Rasht.
Islamic Republic authorities have made every effort to play down the scale of protests in the past week, and Iranian media have mostly ignored the events.