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Iran parliament calls for prosecution of opposition leaders

A report by Iran’s parliament has urged a legal crackdown against opposition leaders Mirhossein Mousavi and Mehdi Karoubi (pictured), whose families say they have been jailed for organising protests.


AFP - Iran was urged to take "firm legal action" against opposition leaders Mir Hossein Mousavi and Mehdi Karroubi in a parliamentary report Wednesday, as prosecutors denied they have been jailed.

The demand was made by a parliamentary panel following its probe into February 14 anti-government protests called by Mousavi and Karroubi, whose families say the are being held in a Tehran jail.
But Iran denies they have been detained.
The panel's report said Western powers, including the Islamic republic's arch-foe the United States, were behind the protests.
"The intervention of embassies and their elements in the 2009 sedition and the February 14 American-Israeli and British rebellion is totally unacceptable," said the report read out in parliament on Wednesday.
"The foreign ministry is obliged to decisively confront this illegal impudence which is contrary to international regulations.
"Those like Mir Hossein Mousavi and Mehdi Karroubi, who called and prepared the ground to make the nation insecure on February 14, deserve firm legal action," it added.
Family members of the two men have said on their websites that Mousavi, Karroubi and their wives had been transferred to Tehran's Heshmatiyeh jail from their residences in the Iranian capital.
Iran's prosecutor general, Gholam Hossein Mohseni Ejeie, on Wednesday again rejected the reports which he had denied a day earlier.
"As I told some news agencies (Tuesday) these people are at their homes. But some communication restrictions have been implemented against them," Mohsenei Ejeie was quoted by state news agency IRNA a saying.
The chief prosecutor in the capital Tehran, Abbas Jafari Dolatabadi, too denied the accusations on Wednesday.
"There is a limit to lies, and rumours of transferring Mr Mousavi and Karroubi to a prison are a sheer lie," Dolatabadi was quoted by Mehr news agency as saying.
"Using the term house arrest is not correct. Mr Mousavi and Karroubi, along with their wives, are in their homes."
Mousavi and Karroubi, who lost to hardliner Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in the 2009 presidential election, strongly oppose his government and have since guided a string of protests against his rule.
On February 14, the two had sought to stage a rally in support of Arab uprisings, but their supporters quickly turned it into the first anti-government demonstration in a year.
The ensuing clashes between protesters and security forces left two people dead and several wounded.
Similar protests, but in scattered forms, were also carried out on February 20 and again on Tuesday, although these were largely quelled by a massive presence of security forces.
"Though some hostile websites encouraged people to come to streets, nothing special happened due to the police presence," Dolatabadi said referring to Tuesday's events.
He said police was executing its duty and had "dispersed these gatherings" Tuesday and also arrested some people while some more who participated would be pursued.
He did not specify how many arrests were made on Tuesday but said the families of the detainees were informed.
The latest demonstrations have infuriated regime-backers, with lawmakers demanding Mousavi and Karroubi be hanged.
The parliamentary report said there was a clear need for the two to be prosecuted.
"This committee based on proof and evidence sees the need for prosecution of Mr Mousavi and Karroubi and their dependants, and frankly announces that the majlis (parliament) can no longer accept any justification for not taking action" by the judiciary against them, the report said.


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