Friday, December 17, 2010
Publish date: June 23 • Printable version    

Iranian opposition leaders condemn attacks on Parliament

MirHosein Mousavi & Mehdi Karroubi

Iranian opposition leaders, MirHosein Mousavi and Mehdi Karroubi condemned the latest attacks by Ahmadinejad supporters on the Islamic Parliament.

The leaders urged everyone to stand up against those who are trying to “escape the law” in order to reach their “illegitimate goals.”

The latest episode which reveals further cracks in the body of the Islamic Republic establishment revolves around an attempt by Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to control Iran’s largest university, Azad University.

Pro-Ahmadinejad protests in front of the Iranian Parliament on Tuesday

Yesterday Ahmadinejad supporters protested outside the Parliament after Ahmadinejad bill, which proposed to replace a number of Azad University board members, was voted down by the MPs. The protesters even threatened to “blast” the Parliament if the MPs did not back down from their resistance against Ahmadinejad’s bill.

Azad University is a private institution with 1.5 million students. It is widely regarded as a centre of support for Iranian reformists.

Mousavi and Karroubi claimed that it is surprising how the government refuses to issue a permit for the “Protest of Silence” which the opposition had planned for the anniversary of the controversial presidential elections of 2009 on June 12; however, “an organized group” such as the one which was threatening MPs on Tuesday is allowed to “stage an attack” anywhere they want.

The opposition’s request for a permit to hold a peaceful protest on June 12 was denied by Islamic Republic authorities, and although the opposition maintains that they have the right to stage peaceful demonstrations according to the Islamic Constitution, the government warned that on June 12 all gatherings would be confronted by security forces.

The two leaders cancelled the “Protest of Silence” two days before the date claiming that they had been informed that government extremists were planning to treat protesters with violence and that the opposition had no intention of causing bloodshed.

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