Iran’s opposition and the establishment are persisting with their confrontation which touched a new high on Sunday when eight people died during violent protests.
Nobel Prize winner Shirin Ebadi has said on Monday authorities had arrested her sister, Nooshin, a medical professor. She added that the step had been taken to dissuade her from pursing human rights work.
“I am not aware of the place of her detention or the reason for her arrest,” said Ms. Ebadi in comments posted on opposition website Rahesabz.
“Over the last two months my sister has been summoned by the Ministry of Intelligence several times and asked to convince me to give up my human rights activities. She was also told to move from her house, which is near my flat and they threatened to arrest her. My sister has not been involved in any social, human rights and political activities,” she observed.
During Sunday’s protest, which coincided with Ashura, a day commemorating the martyrdom of Imam Hossein, the nephew of the opposition leader, Mir-Hosain Mousavi had been shot dead. Opposition websites said on Monday some key inner-circle members of Mr. Mousavi, who had lost the disputed June 12 presidential elections to Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, had also been picked up.
However, the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), widely viewed as the backbone of the current regime, focused on the foreign media and accused it of waging a “psychological war” in collaboration with the opposition. “Trying to overthrow the system will reach nowhere,” the ISNA news agency quoted the IRGC as saying. “Designers of the unrest will soon pay the cost of their insolence.” Some lawmakers called for “maximum punishment” for those involved in the unrest.
Taking exception to the position adopted by the United States and Britain in support of the protesters, Parliamentary Speaker Ali Larijani said, “U.S. and British officials’ disgraceful comments about the sacrilegious events of Ashura are so disgustingly vivid that they clarify where this movement stands when it comes to destroying religious and Revolutionary values.” Mr. Larijani also accused Israel and Saudi Arabia’s media for worsening the political situation.
Iran’s Foreign Ministry spokesman Ramin Mehman-Parast accused “certain individuals” of stoking a “rebellion.” He added that foreign support to protesters amounted to “interference in internal affairs” of Iran.