Mehdi Karroubi

Iranian opposition leader Mehdi Karroubi has told The New York Times that Iran’s Green Movement can only benefit from popular uprisings in the Middle East. “Any kind of event that involves the rise of the people and the fight against dictatorship in the Muslim world and in the Arab world will bolster our movement,” the Times quotes him as saying.

If Iran allows a march of solidarity to go ahead on Monday, said Karroubi, Iranians will show the world that the Green Movement is very much alive.

Karroubi and his fellow Iranian opposition leader MirHosein Mousavi have applied to the ministry of interior for a rally permit for February 14, to demonstrate in support of the Arab uprisings. If the permit is denied, said Karroubi, it would prove the government’s professed support for the people of Egypt and Tunisia is "dishonest."

Iran’s Supreme Leader and several other senior Islamic Republic officials have spoken in favor of the revolts in Egypt and Tunisia.

Karroubi rejected the notion that the Green Movement has been suffocated by the government crackdown, citing that supporters are still pursuing "freedom of speech and assembly as well as  free elections.” He added: “No power can stop our freedom-seeking movement.”

While the ministry of interior has not so far responded to Karroubi and Mousavi’s application for a rally permit, today Iran’s prosecutor described their request as a “political act” aimed at dividing Iranians.

Some analysts believe the February 14 (Bahman 25) demonstration will take place with or without a permit.

Mohammad Javad Akbarin, an Iranian journalist and political analyst in Paris, says: “According to the Article 27 of the constitution demonstrations are permitted, and according to the law, providing security for the citizens is the responsibility of the ministry of interior. Therefore with their letter of request, Mousavi and Karroubi have reminded the government of its duty vis-à-vis the Bahman 25 demonstrators, while on the other hand informing people about the time and place of the march. And as Mr. Mousavi’s aide, Ardeshir Amirarjmand, stated in his last interview, there is no plan to cancel the Bahman 25 rally.”