This article was last updated on April 16, 2022
Opposition couple in high spirits
Iranian opposition leader Mir Hossein Mousavi and wife Zahra Rahnavard have been allowed to meet with their daughters.
According to Kaleme, an opposition website affiliated with Mousavi, this was the second such meeting between the opposition couple and their daughters in the past year.
Mir Hossein Mousavi and Mahdi Karroubi led the opposition Green Movement until mid-February when they were placed under house arrest after they called for rallies in support of the revolutions in the Arab World. The pair took part in Iran’s 2009 presidential elections, widely believed to have been subject to a monumental fraud that was designed to ensure the victory of the incumbent Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. The announcement of the election results sparked the largest protest rallies since the 1979 Islamic Revolution with the opposition candidates refusing to accept the legitimacy of the election, dismissing it as “engineered” and “rigged.”
The Mousavi family were reunited on Sunday, just two days after the country’s ninth parliamentary elections, described by the opposition Green Movement as a “rubber-stamp” affair. The Coordination Council of the Green Path of Hope, the most important decision-making body within the opposition Green Movement, had asked Iranians to stay at home on Election Day. Kaleme reports that the Mousavi and Rahnavard did not take part in Friday’s vote. In an earlier meeting with his daughters last year, the Green Movement leader had told his daughters “Under the status quo, one can’t be hopeful about the upcoming [parliamentary] elections and taking part in them.”
During Sunday’s meeting, Mousavi, who is said to have been in high spirits, called on his daughters to exercise “patience and forgiveness.” The visitation took place in the house of one Mousavi’s daughters “under tight security and with the presence of intelligence agents,” Kaleme reported, adding that “there was not much chance for an unconstrained conversation between the daughters and their parents.”
Despite their limited access to news and information, the couple are said to be more or less aware of developments in the country.
Mousavi, according to Kaleme, also welcomed the media’s publication of his recent telephone message to his daughters and once more reiterated his firm stance vis-à-vis the Iranian regime. “Nothing has changed,” Mousavi had repeatedly stressed over the phone, adding reassuringly: “My daughters, know that I am not backing down from my previous stand.”
Since the start of their parents’ illegal house arrest, Mousavi’s daughters (Zahra, Kokab and Narges) have regularly faced harassment and intimidation, including the threat of arrest, from the intelligence services.
Meanwhile, the family opposition leader and former parliament speaker Mahdi Karroubi say they have had not news about the 74-year-old’s condition for the past three months. “We are and will be prepared to pay any price for defending the people’s rights,” said Karroubi’s wife Fatemeh Karroubi.
Human rights groups maintain that the ongoing house arrest of Mousavi, Karroubi and Mousavi’s wife Zahra Rahnavard is against international conventions as well as Iran’s own constitution.
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