Esmail Ahmadi Moghaddam

The head of Iran’s Security Forces said today that the house arrest of opposition leaders MirHosein Mousavi and Mehdi Karroubi and their wives has been carried out under the orders of the country’s Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Khamenei.

Esmail Ahmadi Moghaddam told Keyhan that following the controversial 2009 presidential election, which triggered widespread demonstrations and street protests across the country, the police arrested 40 prominent political figures, but Ayatollah Khamenei did not give them leave to arrest MirHosein Mousavi and Mehdi Karroubi, the two reformist candidates that had challenged the result of the vote count.

Ahmadi Moghaddam said that after the protests reached an apex in December of 2009, he presented Ayatollah Khamenei with a list of figures that should be put under arrest, but the Supreme Leader pointed to the names Mousavi and Karroubi and said: “I will take care of these myself.”

He added that the judiciary and the security forces had prepared a case against Mousavi and Karroubi, but the cases were abandoned and they were only put under house arrest.

MirHosein Mousavi and Mehdi Karroubi accused the government of cheating in the vote count and challenged the Ahmadinejad government following the 2009 election. The challenge led to mass street protests unprecedented since the establishment of the Islamic Republic.

The government cracked down on protests, killing and arresting protesters.

In February of 2011, after the two opposition leaders rallied their supporters to demonstrate in support of the Arab uprising in the region, the authorities put them under house arrest, where they still remain.

No official charges have been laid against Mousavi and Karroubi, and they are practically cut off from the public and their families.