Mostafa PourMohammadi

Iran’s Justice Minister says the administration has no jurisdiction over the opposition leaders’ continued house arrest, and this issue can only be decided by the National Security Council.

ILNA reports that Mostafa PourMohammadi, referring to the house arrest of MirHosein Mousavi, Mehdi Karroubi and Zahra Rahnavard, said: “I have no particular responsibility regarding this matter.”

He added: “The administration and the judiciary cannot take any decision in this regard on their own… a decision has to be taken at the level of the National Security Council.”

He said: “[President] Rohani may have made efforts on his own to address the matter, but I am not privy to it. He might have followed up with the National Security Council, but there is no discussion regarding this matter within the administration.”

There were high hopes that the election of Hassan Rohani and the takeover of the administration by a more moderate government would lead to the release of the opposition leaders under house arrest, but so far there has been no change in their situation.

The three leaders were put under house arrest following the widespread protests against Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s re-election victory as president in 2009, which protesters claimed was rigged.

The Rohani administration has faced serious opposition from hardliners in addressing the campaign promise to bring an end to the house arrests.