Habibollah Asgaroladi

Habibollah Asgaroladi, a chief conservative figure, has once again called for a resolution in the matter of opposition leaders MirHosein Mousavi and Mehdi Karroubi, who have been under house arrest since February 2011 for challenging the legitimacy of the vote count in the last presidential election.

According to the Khabar on line website, the head of the conservative organization Followers of Imam and Leadership Front said the issue of Mousavi and Karroubi is a “lock that needs to be opened or else it will lead to problems in the coming election.”

The next presidential election is slated for June of 2013. Mousavi and his wife Zahra Rahnavard as well as Mehdi Karroubi have been under house arrest without any formal charges ever being brought against them.

Their children have spoken out against the government’s treatment of their parents, saying it amounts to a kidnapping.

The opposition leaders have been cut off from the public because they continued to rally people for peaceful demonstrations, which the establishment could not tolerate.

The election protests were referred to as “sedition” and the leaders have been implicitly referred to as “leaders of sedition.”

Asgaroladi said, however, that the problem was that “sedition” was being attributed to Mousavi and Karroubi but “as the leader has said, the leaders of sedition are the United States and the Zionist regime.”

The reformists have been heavily sidelined since the 2009 elections, and in recent months there has been much debate about whether they can return to the political arena in the presidential election while their chief candidates, Mousavi and Karroubi, remain under house arrest.