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

Missouri Town Braces for Possible Racial Unrest

Situation in Ferguson hinges on whether white police officer will be indicted for August shooting death of unarmed black teen; decision could come Monday More

Video Ukraine Marks Anniversary of 1930s Deadly Famine

President Poroshenko compares Soviet-era ‘genocide’ to current tactics of pro-Russia rebels in Ukraine's east More

S. Philippines Convictions Elusive 5 Years After Election-related Killings

Officials vowed to deliver justice as the nation marked the anniversary of the country's worst political massacre that left 58 dead, more than half media 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.
Ukraine Marks Anniversary of Deadly 1930s Faminei
X
Daniel Schearf
November 23, 2014 4:32 PM
During a commemoration for millions who died of starvation in Ukraine in the early 1930s, President Petro Poroshenko lashed out at Soviet-era totalitarianism for causing the deaths and accused today’s Russian-backed rebels in the east of using similar tactics. VOA’s Daniel Shearf reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video Ukraine Marks Anniversary of Deadly 1930s Famine

During a commemoration for millions who died of starvation in Ukraine in the early 1930s, President Petro Poroshenko lashed out at Soviet-era totalitarianism for causing the deaths and accused today’s Russian-backed rebels in the east of using similar tactics. VOA’s Daniel Shearf reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video Hong Kong Protests at a Crossroads

New public opinion polls in Hong Kong indicate declining support for pro-democracy demonstrations after weeks of street protests. VOA’s Bill Ide in Guangzhou and Pros Laput in Hong Kong spoke with protesters and observers about whether demonstrators have been too aggressive in pushing for change.
Video

Video Law Enforcement, Activists in Ferguson Agree to Keep Peace

Authorities in Ferguson, Missouri, say they have agreed with protest leaders to maintain peace when a grand jury reaches its decision on whether to indict a white police officer in the shooting death of a black teenager. Ferguson, a suburb of St. Louis, has been the scene of intermittent violence since the August 9 shooting intensified long-simmering antagonism between the police and the African-American community. VOA's Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video US Immigration Relief Imminent for Mixed-Status Families

Tens of thousands of undocumented immigrants in the Washington, D.C., area may benefit from a controversial presidential order announced this week. It's not a path to citizenship, as some activists hoped. But it will allow more immigrants who arrived as children or who have citizen children, to avoid deportation and work legally. VOA's Victoria Macchi talks with one young man who benefited from an earlier presidential order, and whose parents may now benefit after years of living in fear.
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 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.

All About America

AppleAndroid