Iran militants deface home of opposition leader Mehdi Karroubi
Militant supporters of the current government in Iran scrawled "death to Karroubi" on the Tehran home of opposition leader and reformist cleric Mehdi Karroubi, whose claims that Iran's presidential election were tainted by fraud have been described as "seditious" by right-wing officials.
Hard-line militants in Iran defaced the Tehran apartment block of senior opposition leader Mehdi Karroubi, using splashes of blood-red paint and graffiti to step up the conservative campaign to silence the former presidential candidate.Skip to next paragraph
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Right-wing officials have accused Mr. Karroubi, former candidate Mir Hossein Mousavi, and former President Mohammad Khatami of “sedition” for continuing to reject as fraudulent the June 2009 reelection of arch-conservative President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.
Weeks of street violence followed, during which scores of activists of the opposition Green Movement were killed by pro-regime security forces, more than 100 hundred were tried, and thousands were arrested in the most serious crisis faced by the Islamic Republic in nearly 30 years.
Spray-painted black graffiti on the apartment read “Death to Karroubi” and “Death to Khatami,” according to photographs published on Monday by the government-run Borna News Agency.
In one image, a bearded man with an untucked white shirt and a white scarf with thin black lines – the typical “uniform” favored by hard-line militants and ideological Basij militiamen – used a can of spray paint in daylight to write “the donkey Karroubi” and “the donkey Mousavi” near the front door.
“They vandalized the building. These are thugs who are on a payroll” and had the “support of intelligence and police forces,” Fatima Karroubi, the cleric’s wife, was quoted on Monday as saying on Karroubi’s website Sahamnews.
“I’m both happy and sad. I’m happy because amid the current chaotic economic situation, the government … has created jobs in this way,” Mrs. Karroubi said. “At least a small benefit of this conduct is that the thugs are busy destroying and insulting the supporters of the [1979 Islamic] revolution, which in a way stops them harassing people and the youth.”
During the presidency of Mohammad Khatami from 1997 to 2005, a core of hard-line vigilantes of Ansar-e-Hezbollah [Followers of the Party of God] and the legions of their Basij brethren routinely used clubs and chains to attack reformist political meetings, disrupt speeches, close newspapers, and quell student protests.