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

Turkish Public Fears Jihadists More Than Kurds

Turkey facing twin threats of terrorism by Islamic State and PKK Kurdish separatists, says President Erdogan’s ruling AK Party More

Video One Year After Massacre, Iraq’s Yazidis a Broken People

Minority community still recovering from devastating assault by IS militants which spurred massive outrage More

‘Malvertisements’ Undermine Internet Trust

Hackers increasingly prey on users' trust of major websites to delivery malicious software 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.
Iraqi Yazidis Fear Death of Their Communityi
X
Sharon Behn
August 03, 2015 2:23 PM
A year ago on August 3, Islamic State militants stormed the homelands of Iraq’s Yazidi minority, killing hundreds of men and enslaving thousands of women. The scenes of desperate Yazidi families crowding on the top of Sinjar mountain without food or water spurred Kurdish fighters into action, an emergency airlift and the start of the U.S. airstrike campaign against the Islamic State Sunni extremists. VOA's Sharon Benh reports from northern Iraq.
Video

Video Iraqi Yazidis Fear Death of Their Community

A year ago on August 3, Islamic State militants stormed the homelands of Iraq’s Yazidi minority, killing hundreds of men and enslaving thousands of women. The scenes of desperate Yazidi families crowding on the top of Sinjar mountain without food or water spurred Kurdish fighters into action, an emergency airlift and the start of the U.S. airstrike campaign against the Islamic State Sunni extremists. VOA's Sharon Benh reports from northern Iraq.
Video

Video Bangkok Warned It Soon Could Be Submerged

Italy's Venice and America's New Orleans are not the only cities gradually submerging. The nearly ten million residents of the Bangkok urban area now must confront warnings the city could become uninhabitable in a few decades. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from the Thai capital.
Video

Video Inclusive Gym Gets People With Disabilities in Fitness Spirit

Individuals with special needs are 58 percent more likely to be obese than the general population. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control, they also have an increased likelihood of anxiety, depression and social isolation. But a sports club outside Washington wants to make a difference in these people's lives. With Carol Pearson narrating, VOA's June Soh reports.
Video

Video Astronauts Train Underwater for Deep Space Missions

Manned deep space missions are still a long way off, but space agencies are already testing procedures, equipment and human stamina for operations in extreme environment conditions. Small groups of astronauts take turns in spending days in an underwater lab, off Florida’s southern coast, simulating future missions to some remote world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Special Olympics Show Competitors' Skill, Determination

Special Olympics competitions will wrap up Saturday in Los Angeles, and the closing ceremony for athletes with intellectual disabilities will be held Sunday night. In a week of competition, athletes have shown what they can do through skill and determination. VOA's Mike O'Sullivan reports.
Video

Video Civil Rights Leaders Struggled to Achieve Voting Rights Act

Fifty years ago, lawmakers approved, and U.S. President Lyndon Johnson signed, the Voting Rights Act of 1965. The measure outlawed racial discrimination in voting, giving millions of blacks in many parts of the southern United States federal enforcement of the right to vote. Correspondent Chris Simkins introduces us to some civil rights leaders who were on the front lines in the struggle for voting rights.
Video

Video Shooter’s Grill: Serving Food with a Touch of the Second Amendment

Shooter's Grill, a restaurant in Rifle, Colorado, attracts visitors from all over the world as well as local patrons. The reason? Waitresses openly carry loaded firearms as they serve food, and customers are welcome to carry them, too. VOA's Enming Liu and Lin Yang paid a visit to Shooter's Grill, and heard different opinions about this unique establishment.
Video

Video Despite Controversy, Business Owner Continues Sale of Confederate Flags

At Cooter’s, a store in rural Sperryville, Virginia, about 120 kilometers west of Washington, D.C., Confederate flags are flying off the shelves. The red, white and blue battle flag, with 13 white stars representing the Confederate states, was carried by southern forces during the U.S. Civil War in the 1860s. The South had seceded from the Union over several key issues of disagreement, including slavery. VOA’s Deborah Block has the story.
Video

Video Booming London Property a ‘Haven for Dirty Money’

Billions of dollars of so-called ‘dirty money’ from the proceeds of crime - especially from Russia - are being laundered through the London property market, according to anti-corruption activists. As Henry Ridgwell reports from the British capital, the government has pledged to crack down on the practice.
Video

Video Hometown of Boy Scouts of America Founder Reacts to Gay Leader Decision

Ottawa, Illinois, is the hometown of W.D. Boyce, who founded the Boy Scouts of America in 1910. In Ottawa, where Scouting remains an important part of the legacy of the community, the end of the organization's ban on openly gay adult leaders was seen as inevitable. VOA's Kane Farabaugh reports.

VOA Blogs