Mostafa PourMohammadi

Mostafa PourMohammadi, Iran’s justice minister, says it was not in the best interests of the regime to put opposition leaders MirHosein Mousavi and Mehdi Karroubi on trial in 2009 because it would have created more upheaval in the country.

ISNA reports that PourMohammadi said: “Certain decisions were the outcome of a collective deliberation by the major decision-makers in the system.” He then commented on the lack of official legal proceedings against Mousavi and Karroubi, saying: “If there had been a trial, we would have seen further conflicts and protests, and right now the regime has decided that it is best for these individuals to remain under restriction.”

He went on to say that “it was not in the best interests of the country to enforce the punishment of these individuals,” insinuating that they deserved heavier punishment than being put under house arrest.

MirHosein Mousavi and his wife Zahra Rahnavard have been under house arrest since February of 2011, as has Mehdi Karroubi, the other presidential candidate in 2009.

There has been widespread criticism of the government’s failure to give these individuals a fair chance to defend themselves.

Iran’s justice minister also condemned “the West’s double standard” regarding human rights and said Iran must “struggle against the Western version of human rights.”

He also criticized Ahmad Shaheed, the UN Special Rapporteur for Iran, saying: “We do not consider Shaheed an impartial rapporteur.”