Deputy speaker of the parliament and Tehran MP, Ali Motahari has once again criticized restrictions imposed on political activists and the house arrest of Green Movement leaders.
“It is not acceptable to see some individuals decide behind the scenes, without being accountable to anybody”, Motahari said.
Motahari’s comments were apparently a response to recent remarks made by the deputy of the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps’ intelligence apparatus, Mohammad Hossein Zibayinejad, known as Hossein Nejat.
“The restrictions imposed on the former president Mohammad Khatami are not new. These restrictions are the same as those ratified in 2011”, IRGC Brigadier General Nejat had said on Thursday, October 19.
Motahari responded by dismissing claims that the Islamic Republic’s Supreme National Security Council, SNSC, has ever ratified a resolution to impose restrictions on political activists.
Branding the claims as “dubious”, Motahari averred, “Even if there were such a resolution, one should note that the SNSC cannot replace the judiciary, condemning the accused to punishment”.
Directly referring to IRGC Gen. Nejat’s remarks, Motahari proposed, “It will be a good idea to publish the text of the SNSC’ resolution that Mr. Nejat is referring to. It is also imperative to publish the letter recently delivered to [former president] Khatami [ordering him to stay at home]. Then, one can decide whether there are new restrictions imposed on him or not”.
Meanwhile, Motahari confirmed that security forces had prevented reformist former President Mohammad Khatami from leaving his house on Wednesday, October 18.
Remorse cannot be one sided. If repenting is the order of the day, both sides must come forward and repent; those who lay the ground for the ‘sedition’ and those who stoke its furnace" - Motahari
According to the website Kalameh, linked to the Green Movement, security forces told Khatami they had been instructed to stop him from going to a regular meeting he used to attend.
Motahari’s remarks can be construed as criticism of hardliners who enjoy Supreme Leader ayatollah Ali Khamenei’s support and also the IRGC, which lends its muscle to intimidate critics.
The deputy speaker of the parliament has also noted, “We merely know that some unidentified individuals discern the regime’s expediency [in secret] and impose house arrest and restrictions on anybody they want and whenever they find it appropriate, let them go, let’s say right before their death”.
Earlier, IRGC Gen. Nejat had also demanded the leaders of the Green Movement, former twice speaker of the parliament, Mehdi Karroubi, 81, former prime minister Mir Hossein Mousavi, 76, and his wife Zahra Rahnavard, 71 to state their remorse and repent.
“If these individuals [the leaders of the Green Movement] repent and condemn the ‘sedition’ [movement], the regime will let them board the salvation boat”, Gen. Nejat had asserted.
A day later, Motahari has fired back, “Remorse cannot be one sided. If repenting is the order of the day, both sides must come forward and repent; those who lay the ground for the ‘sedition’ and those who stoke its furnace”.
Apparently, Motahari was referring to former president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad whose controversial reelection in 2009 led to months of unrest. His main challengers, Mir Hossein Mousavi called the official result of the presidential election “engineered in favor of the incumbent”.
Motahari had earlier called for putting Ahmadinejad on trial for his role in triggering the longest uprising against the regime in the history of the Islamic republic.
Mehdi Karroubi, Mir Hossein Mousavi and his wife Zahra Rahnavard have been under house arrest since February 2011 without any breakthrough for their plight in the horizon.
The trio was extra-judicially placed under house arrest in February 2011, after they invited people to participate in street demonstrations in support of democracy movements during the Arab Spring, in Egypt and Tunisia.
Lifting the house arrest has been one of the main demands of those who have voted for Rouhani both times he was elected president.
Rouhani has not only been unsuccessful in releasing the Green Movement leaders, but he has also witnessed further restrictions imposed on reformist former President Mohammad Khatami, who played a crucial role in his re-election.
A few Iranian politicians, including deputy speaker of the parliament, Ali Motahari have explicitly stated that the extrajudicial detention of the trio is solely Khamenei’s decision.
Iran’s constitution grants broad powers to the supreme leader, but according to Article 30 no one can be banished from his place of residence, prevented from residing in the place of his choice, or compelled to reside in a specific locality except in cases provided by the law.