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

Video Is West Doing Enough to Tackle Islamic State?

There is growing uncertainty over whether West’s response to ISIS is adequate More

China Crackdown on Dual Citizens Causes Concern

New policy encourages reporting people who obtain citizenship in another country, but retain Chinese citizenship; move spurs sharp debate More

Video Coalition to Fight Islamic State Could Reward Assad

Losing ground to Islamic State fighters, Syria's government says it is ready to cooperate with international community 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.
Is West Doing Enough to Tackle Islamic State?i
X
Henry Ridgwell
August 29, 2014 12:26 AM
U.S. President Barack Obama has ruled out sending ground troops to Iraq to fight militants of the so-called Islamic State, or ISIS, despite officials in Washington describing the extremist group as the biggest threat the United States has faced in years. Henry Ridgwell reports from London on the growing uncertainty over whether the West’s response to ISIS will be enough to defeat the terrorist threat.
Video

Video Is West Doing Enough to Tackle Islamic State?

U.S. President Barack Obama has ruled out sending ground troops to Iraq to fight militants of the so-called Islamic State, or ISIS, despite officials in Washington describing the extremist group as the biggest threat the United States has faced in years. Henry Ridgwell reports from London on the growing uncertainty over whether the West’s response to ISIS will be enough to defeat the terrorist threat.
Video

Video Pachyderms Play Polo to Raise Money for Elephants

Polo, the ancient team competition typically played on horseback, is known as the “sport of kings.” However, the royal version for one annual event in Thailand swaps the horse for the kingdom’s national symbol - the elephant. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman in Samut Prakan reports that the King’s Cup Elephant Polo tournament is all for a good cause.
Video

Video Coalition to Fight Islamic State Could Reward Assad

The United States along with European and Mideast allies are considering a broader assault against Islamic State fighters who have spread from Syria into Iraq and risk further destabilizing an already troubled region. But as VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns reports, confronting those militants could end up helping the embattled Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.
Video

Video Made in America Socks Get Toehold in Online Fashion Market

Three young entrepreneurs are hoping to revolutionize the high-end sock industry by introducing all-American creations of their own. And they’re doing most of it the old-fashioned way. VOA’s Julie Taboh recently caught up with them to learn what goes into making their one-of-a-kind socks.
Video

Video Americans, Ex-Pats Send Relief Supplies to West Africa

Health organizations from around the world are sending supplies and specialists to the West African countries that are dealing with the worst Ebola outbreak in history. On a smaller scale, ordinary Americans and African expatriates living in the United States are doing the same. VOA's Carol Pearson reports.
Video

Video America's Most Popular Artworks Displayed in Public Places

Public places in cities across America were turned into open-air art galleries in August. Pictures of the nation’s most popular artworks were displayed on billboards, bus shelters, subway platforms and more. The idea behind “Art Everywhere,” a collaborative campaign by five major museums is to allow more people to enjoy art and learn about the country’s culture and history. Faiza Elmasry has more.
Video

Video Chinese Doctors Use 3-D Spinal Implant

A Chinese boy suffering from a debilitating bone disease has become the first patient with a part of his spine created in a three-dimensional printer. Doctors say he will soon regain normal mobility. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Uneasy Calm Settles Over Israel, Gaza Strip

Israel and the Gaza Strip have been calm since a cease-fire set in Tuesday evening, ending seven weeks of hostilities. Hamas, which controls Gaza, declared victory. Israelis were more wart. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from Jerusalem.
Video

Video India’s Leprosy Battle Stymied by Continuing Stigma

Medical advancements in the treatment of leprosy have greatly diminished its impact around the world, largely eliminating the disease from most countries. India made great strides in combating leprosy, but still accounts for a majority of the world’s new cases each year, and the number of newly infected Indians is rising - more than 130,000 recorded last year. Doctors there say the problem has more to do with society than science. Shaikh Azizur Rahman reports from Kolkata.
Video

Video Scientists Unlock Mystery of Bird Flocks

How can flocks of birds, schools of fish or herds of antelope suddenly change direction -- all the individuals adjusting their movement in concert, at seemingly the same time? British researchers now have some insights into this behavior, which has puzzled scientists for a long time. VOA's George Putic has more.

AppleAndroid