News / Middle East

Iranian Web Site Reports Attack on Opposition Leader Karroubi

One of Iran's top opposition leaders, Mahdi Karroubi, came under attack during a visit to the northern town of Qazvin, when assailants fired on his armored vehicle, shattering its windows. Karroubi was not hurt, but fear of violence targeting the opposition is growing.

Multimedia

Audio

It was not the first time that Iranian opposition leader Mahdi Karroubi has come under attack by government supporters, but the use of gunfire to blow out the windows of his armored limousine constitutes by far the boldest.

Armed pro-government demonstrators and militiamen opened fire on Karroubi's car shattering its windows, his Web site, Sahamnews.org, reported Friday.

Sahamnews said the shooting happened late Thursday while the former presidential candidate was leaving a building in Qazvin, some 140 kilometers west of Tehran.

Karroubi's son Hussein, who acts as his father's spokesman, describes what happened:

He says that his father visited Qazvin, being that it's the holy month of Muharram, and that ten minutes after the arrival ceremony at the home of Mr. Gavami, the pro-government Fars news agency reported that the house had been surrounded by Hezbollah (pro-government) forces.  Several hours later, he adds, some minibuses drove up with rural government supporters and they started throwing rocks and bricks, hurling obscenities and breaking windows at the house. Riot police eventually intervened, he says, to allow his father to leave, at which point his car was attacked with eggs, bricks and gunshots, breaking the glass in the front and back of the car.

A group of pro-government basij militiamen, along with dozens of government supporters, reportedly chanted slogans in favor of Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei in addition to calling Karroubi a "hypocrite," a common insult used against the opposition. "Our town," they shouted, "is no place for hypocrites."

Ali Nourizadeh of the London-based Center for Arab and Iranian Studies says that the authorities have been trying to intimidate Karroubi for a long time by limiting his movements.

"Karroubi is not allowed to move around freely although he does it. The problem is people who are appointed by the authorities to safeguard him, these people usually when Karroubi is out, they turn their backs on him and Karroubi is not feeling safe, but he went to Qazvin to be with Mr. Naser Gavami, a [former] member of parliament who lost his relative, but they did not allow him to get in, and basijis attacked his car," he said.  "I think Karroubi is used to this kind of behavior, and he has been attacked during Friday prayers, during demonstrations, and he is a brave man. I don't think this intimidation will be effective, will prevent Karroubi from coming out, unless they arrest him," said Nourizadeh.

Karroubi lost to President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in Iran's disputed election last year.  He and another opposition leader who lost in the election, Mir Hossein Mousavi, have said the vote was tainted by fraud.

Mahdi Karroubi's wife Fatemeh told the French daily Le Monde, Friday, that she would "hold the government responsible if any harm should come" to her husband.

You May Like

Multimedia Obama Defends Immigration Action

Obama says with his executive action on immigration, enforcement resources will be focused on 'felons, not families; criminals, not children' More

US-Led Airstrikes in Syria Kill Over 900: Monitoring Group

British-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights says the toll includes more than 50 civilians, five of them women and eight of them children More

Report: Obama Broadens US Combat Role in Afghanistan

The New York Times says resident Barack Obama has signed a classified order extending the role of US troops in Afghanistan for another year More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
New Skateboard Defies Gravityi
X
November 21, 2014 5:07 AM
A futuristic dream only a couple of decades ago, the hoverboard – a skateboard that floats above the ground - has finally been made possible. While still not ready for mass production, it promises to become a cool mode of transport... at least over some surfaces. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video New Skateboard Defies Gravity

A futuristic dream only a couple of decades ago, the hoverboard – a skateboard that floats above the ground - has finally been made possible. While still not ready for mass production, it promises to become a cool mode of transport... at least over some surfaces. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Falling Gas Prices Impact US Oil Extraction

With the price of oil now less than $80 a barrel, motorists throughout the United States are benefiting from gas prices below $3 a gallon. But as VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, the decreasing price of petroleum has a downside for the hydraulic fracturing industry in the United States.
Video

Video Tensions Build on Korean Peninsula Amid Military Drills

It has been another tense week on the Korean peninsula as Pyongyang threatened to again test nuclear weapons while the U.S. and South Korean forces held joint military exercises in a show of force. VOA’s Brian Padden reports from the Kunsan Air Base in South Korea.
Video

Video Mama Sarah Obama Honored at UN Women’s Entrepreneurship Day

President Barack Obama's step-grandmother is in the United States to raise money to build a $12 million school and hospital center in Kogelo, Kenya, the birthplace of the president's father, Barack Obama, Sr. She was honored for her decades of work to aid poor Kenyans at a Women's Entrepreneurship Day at the United Nations.
Video

Video Gay Evangelicals Argue That Bible Does Not Condemn Homosexuality

More than 30 U.S. states now recognize same-sex marriages, and an increasing number of mainline American churches are blessing them. But evangelical church members- which account for around 30 percent of the U.S. adult population - believe the Bible unequivocally condemns homosexuality. VOA's Jerome Socolovsky reports that gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender evangelicals are coming out. Backed by a prominent evangelical scholar, they argue that the traditional reading of the bible is wrong.
Video

Video Ebola Economic Toll Stirs W. Africa Food Security Concerns

The World Bank said Wednesday that it expects the economic impact of the Ebola outbreak on the sub-Saharan economy to cost somewhere betweenf $3 billion to $4 billion - well below a previously-outlined worst-case scenario of $32 billion. Some economists, however, paint a gloomier picture - warning that the disruption to regional markets and trading is considerable. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Mexico Protests Escalate Over Disappearances

Protests in Mexico over 43 students missing since September continue to escalate, reflecting growing anger among Mexicans about a political system they view as corrupt, and increasingly tainted by the drug trade. Mounting outrage over the disappearances is now focused on the government of President Enrique Pena Nieto, accused of not doing enough to end insecurity in the country. More from VOA's Victoria Macchi.
Video

Video US Senate Votes Down Controversial Oil Pipeline - For Now

The U.S. Senate has rejected construction of a controversial pipeline to transport Canadian oil to American refineries. The $5 billion project still could be approved next year, but it faces a possible veto by President Barack Obama. As VOA’s Michael Bowman reports, the pipeline has exposed deep divisions in Congress about America’s energy future.
Video

Video Can Minsk Cease-fire Agreement Hold?

Growing tensions between government troops and separatists in eastern Ukraine further threaten a cease-fire agreement reached two months ago in the Belarusian capital of Minsk. Critics of U.S. policy in Ukraine say it is time the Obama administration gives up on that much-violated cease-fire and moves toward a new deal with Russia. VOA's Scott Stearns has more.
Video

Video Chaos, Abuse Defy Solution in Libya

The political and security crisis in Libya is deepening, with competing governments and, according to Amnesty International, widespread human rights violations committed with impunity. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London.
Video

Video US Hosts Record 866,000 Foreign Students

Close to 900,000 international students are studying at American universities and colleges, more than ever before. About half of them come from Asia, mostly China. The United States hosts more foreign students than any other country in the world, and its foreign student population is steadily growing. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Ferguson Church Grapples with Race Relations

Many white residents of Ferguson, Missouri, say they chose to live there because of the American Midwest community's diversity. So, they were shocked when a white police officer killed an unarmed black teenager in August – and shaken by the resulting protests and violence. Some local churches are leading conversations on how to go forward. VOA’s Ayesha Tanzeem reports.

All About America

AppleAndroid