Over fifty assailants attacked outspoken Iranian MP Ali Motahari in Shiraz with pepper spray, rotten tomatoes and bricks, causing injury to his face.

Ali Motahari

Ali Motahari

ISNA reports that Motahari, who was scheduled to give a lecture at Shiraz University, arrived at the Shiraz Airport on Monday March 9 and was attacked by a number of unidentified assailants.

Some unofficial reports say the attackers are linked to Basij and Fajr Revolutionary Guards in Shiraz.

The attackers reportedly broke the windows of Motahari’s Taxi and blocked him from reaching the university. He reportedly returned to Tehran on Monday night without giving his lecture.

Motahari is a conservative MP who on several occasions has challenged the house arrest of opposition leaders MirHosein Mousavi, Zahra Rahnavard and Mehdi Karroubi, hence drawing fire from extremist groups in the establishment.

The Shargh daily reported that many of Motahari’s assailants had large motorbikes and were wearing masks. Islamic Republic officials have not yet reacted to the attack.

The Kaleme website reports that Motahari had been invited by the Culture and Politics Association of Shiraz University to give a lecture on “Islam and Freedom”, adding that assailants also arrived at the university to prevent the scheduled event.