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
TEXT SIZE - +

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 Anti-Keystone XL Protests Continue

Demonstrators are worried about pipeline's effect on climate change, their traditional way of life, health and safety More

Thailand's Political Power Struggle Continues

Court gave Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra until May 2 to prepare her defense over abuse of power charges but uncertainty remains over election timing More

Malaysia Plane Search Tests Limits of Ocean Mapping Technology

Expert tells VOA existing equipment’s maximum operating depth is around 6 kilometers as operation continues on ocean bed for any trace of MH370 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.
Pet Kangaroo Helps Spread Environmental Messagei
X
Penelope Poulou
April 22, 2014 5:53 PM
Children’s author Julia Heckathorn travels the world to learn about different ecosystems and endangered animals. She pours her knowledge into children’s books, hoping the next generation will right the environmental wrongs of our times. As in many children's books, the main character in Heckathorn's stories is an animal. Unlike those other characters, though, this one is real - a kangaroo, that lives in the author’s backyard. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.
Video

Video Pet Kangaroo Helps Spread Environmental Message

Children’s author Julia Heckathorn travels the world to learn about different ecosystems and endangered animals. She pours her knowledge into children’s books, hoping the next generation will right the environmental wrongs of our times. As in many children's books, the main character in Heckathorn's stories is an animal. Unlike those other characters, though, this one is real - a kangaroo, that lives in the author’s backyard. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.
Video

Video Pro-Russian Separatists Plan 'Federalization Referendum' in Eastern Ukraine

Pro-Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine say they plan to move forward next month with a referendum vote for greater autonomy, despite the Geneva agreement reached with Russia, the U.S. and Ukraine to end the political conflict. VOA's Brian Padden reports from the city of Donetsk in Eastern Ukraine.
Video

Video Pope Francis Hopes Dual Canonizations Will Reconcile Church

On April 27, two popes - John the XXIII and John Paul II - will be made saints in a ceremony at St. Peter’s Square. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky says the dual canonization is part of the current pope’s program to reconcile liberals and conservatives in the Roman Catholic Church.
Video

Video In Capturing Nature's Majesty, Film Makes Case for Its Survival

French filmmaker Luc Jacquet won worldwide acclaim for his 2005 Academy Award-winning documentary "March of the Penguins". Now Jacquet is back with a new film that takes movie-goers deep into the heart of a tropical rainforest - not only to celebrate its grandeur, but to make the case for its survival. VOA's Rosanne Skirble reports.
Video

Video Boston Marathon Bittersweet for Many Runners

Monday's running of the Boston Marathon was bittersweet for many of the 36,000 participants as they finished the run that was interrupted by a double bombing last year. Many gathered along the route paid respect to the four people killed as a result of two bombings near the finish line. VOA's Carolyn Presutti returned to Boston this year to follow two runners, forever changed because of the crimes.
Video

Video International Students Learn Film Production in World's Movie Capital

Hollywood - which is part of Los Angeles - is the movie capital of the world, and many aspiring filmmakers go there in hopes of breaking into the movie business. Mike O'Sullivan reports that regional universities are also a magnet for students who hope to become producers or directors.
Video

Video Pacific Rim Trade Deal Proves Elusive

With the U.S.-led war in Iraq ended and American military involvement in Afghanistan winding down, President Barack Obama has sought to pivot the country's foreign policy focus towards Asia. One aspect of that pivot is the negotiation of a free-trade agreement among 12 Pacific Rim nations. But as Obama leaves this week on a trip to four Asian countries he has found it very difficult to complete the trade pact. VOA's Ken Bredemeier has more from Washington.
Video

Video Autistic Adults Face Housing, Job Challenges

Many parents of children with disabilities fear for the future of their adult child. It can be difficult to find services to help adults with disabilities - physical, mental or emotional - find work or live on their own. The mother of an autistic boy set up a foundation to advocate for the estimated 1.2 million American adults with autism, a developmental disorder that causes communication difficulties and often social difficulties. VOA's Faiza Elmasry reports.
AppleAndroid