In Iran, the house arrests of three Green Movement leaders is once again top news on Iranian social media after parliament member Ali Motahari recently quoted Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei on the issue.
On June 17, the conservative parliamentarian [Kaveh: who’s among few people who has vocally called for the opposition leaders to be released] and 11 others met with Ayatollah Khamenei. It was reported that Motahari asked the supreme leader if he would reconsider the ongoing house arrests of the Green Movement leaders, Mehdi Karroubi and Mir Hussein Mousavi and Mousavi’s wife Zahra Rahnavard.
According to Motahari, Ayatollah Khamenei said, “I’ve talked about insight before and that we must not lose the path of the martyrs and the revolution. Their crimes are major and if it were up to Imam [former Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini], he would confront them more severely. If they are sentenced, their sentence will be very heavy, and certainly you will not be happy about it. We are currently doing them a favor.”
Firstly, he’s right that Khomeini had a much more lenient approach towards executing his political enemies than Khamenei, so there’s that.
That’s an awfully bad news. If Khamenei is not going to budge on this issue, things will be bad. Rouhani had promised to release them by lobbying and back-door negotiations during his campaign, and many had thought this was possible as all the signs indicated he was trying.
If you want to learn about this issue in-depth and see why it matters, read this article of mine.