News / Middle East

    Website says Son of Iranian Opposition Leader Arrested

    Iranian Pro-reform clergyman Mehdi Karroubi, who heads the Etemad-Melli, the National Trust party, talks during a press conference in Tehran, Iran (File Photo)
    Iranian Pro-reform clergyman Mehdi Karroubi, who heads the Etemad-Melli, the National Trust party, talks during a press conference in Tehran, Iran (File Photo)

    Multimedia

    Audio

    An Iranian opposition website says authorities have detained the son of opposition leader Mehdi Karroubi.

    According to Mehdi Karroubi’s website, security forces entered the home of his son, Ali Karroubi, on Monday night and arrested both he and his wife, Nafiseh Panahi. The website Sahamnews said she was later released but that there was no further news of Ali Karroubi.

    Barak Seener is an Iran analyst with a London-based defense and security research group, the Royal United Services Institute.

    "It's actually really surprising that he was arrested because his voice in the opposition is very minimal if at all,” Seener said. “This just shows the extremes that the regime is going just not to blink."

    Mehdi Karroubi is a leader of the opposition Green Movement in Iran. He and another opposition leader, Mir Hossein Mousavi, have both been under house arrest for more than a week since calling for their supporters to demonstrate in support of the popular uprisings that ousted the leaders of Egypt and Tunisia.

    Demonstrations did take place in Iran’s capital Tehran and other locations on February 14. Security forces confronted the protesters and at least 150 people were arrested.

    Katerina Delacoura, an Iran expert at Britain’s London School of Economics, says house arrest is just one of the tactics used by the Iranian government to try to crush the opposition movement.

    "It is effective and I think it's part and parcel of the wider approach that the regime is taking at the moment,” said Delacoura. “They are using very, very familiar methods that dictators across the region have used and continue using at present and house arrest, of course, is one of them."

    The Iranian government has itself voiced support for popular revolts in the region.

    On Tuesday, Iran criticized a deadly crackdown against demonstrators in Libya. Foreign Ministry spokesperson Ramin Mehmanparast described the Libyan uprising as part of a regional "Islamic awakening."

    Delacoura says Iran has tried to link regional upheaval to its own revolution in 1979, when Shah Mohammed Reza Pahlavi was overthrown.

    "The origins of the regime are in the Iranian revolution,” Delacoura said. “And the Iranian revolution of 1979 represented the will of the people, or so was the claim, so the initial makings of this regime are connected with popular legitimacy and even democratic demands. So I think it's that kind of image that they want to promote in the region by celebrating regime change in many parts of the Arab world."

    She says she thinks few people in Iran believe the government’s rhetoric.

     

    NEW: Follow our Middle East reports on Twitter
    and discuss them on our Facebook page.

    You May Like

    US, Somalia Launch New Chapter in Relations

    US sends first ambassador to Somalia in 25 years; diplomatic presence and forces pulled out in 1993, after 18 US soldiers were killed when militiamen shot down military helicopter

    Brexit Vote Ripples Across South Asia

    Experts say exit is likely to have far-reaching economic, political and social implications for a region with deep historic ties to Britain

    Russian Military Tests Readiness With Snap Inspections

    Some observers see surprise drill as tit-for-tat response to NATO’s recent multinational military exercises in Baltic region

    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.
    Testing Bamboo as Building Materiali
    X
    June 27, 2016 9:06 PM
    For thousands of years various species of bamboo - one of the world's most versatile plants - have been used for diverse purposes ranging from food and medicine to textiles and construction. But its use on a large scale is hampered because it's not manufactured to specific standards but grown in the ground. A University of Pittsburgh professor is on track to changing that. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Testing Bamboo as Building Material

    For thousands of years various species of bamboo - one of the world's most versatile plants - have been used for diverse purposes ranging from food and medicine to textiles and construction. But its use on a large scale is hampered because it's not manufactured to specific standards but grown in the ground. A University of Pittsburgh professor is on track to changing that. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Orphanage in Iraqi City Houses Kids Who Lost their Parents to Attacks by IS

    An orphanage in Iraqi Kurdistan has become home to scores of Yazidi children who lost their parents after Islamic State militants took over Sinjar in Iraq’s Nineveh Province in 2014. Iraqi Kurdish forces backed by the U.S. airstrikes have since recaptured Sinjar but the need for the care provided by the orphanage continues. VOA’s Kawa Omar filed this report narrated by Rob Raffaele.
    Video

    Video Re-Opening Old Wounds in a Bullet-Riddled Cultural Landmark

    A cultural landmark before Lebanon’s civil war transformed it into a nest of snipers, Beirut’s ‘Yellow House’ is once again set to play a crucial role in the city.  Built in a neo-Ottoman style in the 1920s, in September it is set to be re-opened as a ‘memory museum’ - its bullet-riddled walls and bunkered positions overlooking the city’s notorious ‘Green Line’ maintained for posterity. John Owens reports from Beirut.
    Video

    Video Brexit Resounds in US Presidential Contest

    Britain’s decision to leave the European Union is resounding in America’s presidential race. As VOA’s Michael Bowman reports, Republican presumptive nominee Donald Trump sees Britain’s move as an affirmation of his campaign’s core messages, while Democrat Hillary Clinton sees the episode as further evidence that Trump is unfit to be president.
    Video

    Video New York Pride March A Celebration of Life, Mourning of Loss

    At this year’s march in New York marking the end of pride week, a record-breaking crowd of LGBT activists and allies marched down Manhattan's Fifth Avenue, in what will be long remembered as a powerful display of solidarity and remembrance for the 49 victims killed two weeks ago in an Orlando gay nightclub.
    Video

    Video NASA Juno Spacecraft, Nearing Jupiter, to Shed Light on Gas Giant

    After a five-year journey, the spacecraft Juno is nearing its destination, the giant planet Jupiter, where it will enter orbit and start sending data back July 4th. As Mike O'Sullivan reports from Pasadena, California, the craft will pierce the veil of Jupiter's dense cloud cover to reveal its mysteries.
    Video

    Video Orlando Shooting Changes Debate on Gun Control

    It’s been nearly two weeks since the largest mass shooting ever in the United States. Despite public calls for tighter gun control laws, Congress is at an impasse. Democratic lawmakers resorted to a 1960s civil rights tactic to portray their frustration. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti explains how the Orlando, Florida shooting is changing the debate.
    Video

    Video Tunisian Fishing Town Searches for Jobs, Local Development Solutions

    As the European Union tries to come to grips with its migrant crisis, some newcomers are leaving voluntarily. But those returning to their home countries face an uncertain future.  Five years after Tunisia's revolution, the tiny North African country is struggling with unrest, soaring unemployment and plummeting growth. From the southern Tunisian fishing town of Zarzis, Lisa Bryant takes a look for VOA at a search for local solutions.
    Video

    Video 'American Troops' in Russia Despite Tensions

    Historic battle re-enactment is a niche hobby with a fair number of adherents in Russia where past military victories are played-up by the Kremlin as a show of national strength. But, one group of World War II re-enactors in Moscow has the rare distinction of choosing to play western ally troops. VOA's Daniel Schearf explains.
    Video

    Video Muslim American Mayor Calls for Tolerance

    Syrian-born Mohamed Khairullah describes himself as "an American mayor who happens to be Muslim." As the three-term mayor of Prospect Park, New Jersey, he believes his town of 6,000 is an example of how ethnicity and religious beliefs should not determine a community's leadership. Ramon Taylor has this report from Prospect Park.
    Video

    Video Internal Rifts Over Syria Policy Could Be Headache for Next US President

    With the Obama administration showing little outward enthusiasm for adopting a more robust Syria policy, there is a strong likelihood that the internal discontent expressed by State Department employees will roll over to the next administration. VOA State Department correspondent Pam Dockins reports.
    Video

    Video Senegal to Park Colorful ‘Cars Rapides’ Permanently

    Brightly painted cars rapide are a hallmark of Dakar, offering residents a cheap way to get around the capital city since 1976. But the privately owned minibuses are scheduled to be parked for good in late 2018, as Ricci Shryock reports for VOA.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora