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Iranian Opposition Figure Ready to Present Evidence for Rape Claims

Iranian opposition figure Mehdi Karoubi says he is ready to present evidence to support his controversial claims that post-election detainees were raped in Iranian prisons.

Karoubi's National Trust (Etemad-e Melli) Web site said the reformist asked to meet with top officials including Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in order to present the evidence.

It said he made the meeting request in a letter to parliament speaker Ali Larijani.

Karoubi, a cleric who came in fourth in the disputed June 12 presidential election, has faced criticism from hard-liners for saying some protesters, both male and female, were raped in jail.

Parliament speaker Larijani immediately dismissed Karoubi's claims as "baseless."

Earlier this week, Iran's judiciary ordered a ban on the reformist National Trust newspaper for printing Karoubi's rape accusations.

Karoubi said women and young boys suffered severe physical and mental damage from the rapes in detention centers.

Dozens of opposition supporters gathered outside the newspaper's office to rally in support of Karoubi.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP and Reuters.