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Activists Say Rouhani Has Enough Power To Lift House Arrests

Mirhusssein Mousavai, Zahra Rahnavard, and Mehdi Karubi

In a letter to President Hassan Rouhani, several Religious-Nationalist activists inside Iran have called for the immediate release of the leaders of the Green Movement.

They argue in their letter that “Rouhani has enough power and authority” as chairman of the Supreme National Security Council to bring up the case at the SNSC and “try to convince the regime’s high authorities” to lift the house arrests.

The Religious-Nationalist activists have insisted that during Rouhani’s presidential campaign and rallies, the voters called for action to end the house arrests and the issue gained the stature of a nationwide demand.

Furthermore, the letter claims that almost all independent expert lawyers believe that placing twice former parliament speaker, Mehdi Karroubi, former Prime Minister, Mir Hossein Mousavi and his wife, Zahra Rahnavard under house arrest is an “extra judicial decision” that is “in violation of numerous articles of the Islamic Republic Constitution”.

Directly addressing Rouhani, the activists maintain that the president who also presides over SNSC has sufficient power and authority to try and convince the regime top leaders to revisit their decision concerning the house arrests.

Mehdi Karroubi, 80, Mir Hossein Mousavi, 76, Zahra Rahnavard, 72, who protested the official result of 2009 presidential election, have been under house arrest for six years without being indicted.

On Tuesday, August 29, government spokesman, Mohammad Baqer Nobakht said that the house arrests were discussed at the SNSC. Meanwhile, he said that after the removal of security agents from Mehdi Karroubi’s house, he hoped for the “next steps” to be taken.

Protesting the presence of the security forces inside his house, Karroubi went on a dry hunger strike, but, a day later, he ended it after it was announced that the agents have left the house and were stationed outside.

Karroubi had also demanded an open trial by a competent court to end his hunger strike. Nevertheless, he apparently left his second demand aside, at least for the moment.

On Sunday, September 3, the judiciary spokesman, Gholam Hossein Mohseni Ejei had said that the SNSC, at its latest session, did not make a new decision, so, the house arrests would continue.

Immediately, Nobakht described Rouhani’s position at SNSC session as “explicit, transparent and courageous”, adding, “Let’s leave talking about matters with security texture to the SNSC’s secretary”.

Later, the SNSC’s spokesman, Kayvan Khosravi reported that discussing the house arrests was not on SNSC’s agenda and only a report was given on “a breakthrough in the situation of house detainees”.

Therefore, no new resolution was ratified on the case, Khosravi insisted.

The letter by the Religious-Nationalist activists, who are considered a loyal opposition, comes in the midst of an information confusion. Rouhani claims he breached the issue at the SNSC meeting, while others insist nothing substantial was discussed and the house arrest decision remains in place.