Ali Saidi

Ali Saidi, the Iranian leader’s representative in the Revolutionary Guards, says ending the house arrest of MirHosein Mousavi Mehdi Karroubi and Zahra Rahnavard is not possible because “the people will not forgive them.”

Saidi told Tsnim on Saturday November 30 that the action taken against Mousavi and Karroubi has not been the “maximum”, insisting that “only the situation of the country and Islamic mercy have made it necessary to keep their punishment at this level.”

MirHosein Mousavi, Zahra Rahnavard and Mehdi Karroubi have been under house arrest for more than 1,000 days. Mousavi and Karroubi challenged the outcome of the 2009 presidential election and triggered widespread street protests that were crushed by severe force.

The new president, Hassan Rohani, has promised to end the house arrests and release political prisoners but so far he has had little success in delivering on his promise to open up the country’s political atmosphere.

His spokesman recently announced that the administration is working hard to meet this commitment but clearly it faces great resistance from conservative factions in the system.