The Iranian Supreme Leader’s representative in the Basij forces says the release of MirHosein Mousavi, Zahra Rahnavard and Mehdi Karroubi from house arrest can only be achieved “through secret channels”.

The Shargh daily reported on Saturday December 27 that according to Mohammadreza Toysarkani, the house arrest is under the jurisdiction of “the group that bears the legal authority in this matter”. He adds: “Whenever they decide to end the house arrest, since their decision must have been approved by the Supreme Leader, the people will accept it and there is no problem.”

The three opposition leaders have been under house arrest since February of 2011 for challenging the legitimacy of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s victory in the presidential election of 2009 by hurling allegations of vote fraud.

Toysarkani stressed that the efforts of Ali Motahari “only lead to complicating the matter further and do not help in resolving the issue.”

In recent months, Iranian MP Ali Motahari has been very vocal in condemning the house arrest of these three individuals, saying if there are any charges against them, they should be properly indicted and be given the right to defend themselves in an official court of law.

According to Toysarkani, this approach is “counterproductive” and efforts to free the opposition figures need to be “discreet.”

The current administration has repeatedly said that it is making efforts to release the three opposition leaders; however, reports indicate that the fate of Mousavi, Rahnavard and Karroubi is in the hands of the highest echelons of power in the Islamic Republic and the administration does not have sufficient power to end the house arrests.