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'Basij Thugs' Harass Iran Opposition Leader Karrubi At Memorial Service


Iranian opposition leader and reformist cleric Mehdi Karrubi has again been harassed by a group of apparent hard-liners who verbally assailed him at the Sharif University mosque on June 29. Karrubi was reportedly shouted down upon entering the mosque to attend a mourning ceremony for the father of former reformist official Mohammad Reza Aref.

Here's a video reportedly from the incident:



A report posted on Karrubi's "Sahamnews" website says the reformist cleric was faced by "Basiji thugs" who insulted him, chanted slogans, and tried to disrupt the mourning ceremony therefore he decided to leave the mosque.

Karrubi told the website that he was very sorry to see that the Basij force that defended the country during its war with Iraq has been reduced to "confronting academics at universities, beating up people in mosques, getting involved in vote rigging, killing people in the streets, attacking the grandson of the founder of the Islamic Republic, Ayatollah [Ruhollah] Khomeini, and attacking the offices and homes of senior clerics."

Karrubi recently came under attack by hard-liners during a visit to Qom about two weeks ago.

Karrubi's wife said their son was arrested in February, beaten up, and threatened with rape.

Karrubi has turned into one of the most outspoken critics of the postelection crackdown, and he's also criticized the broad power and authority of Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khameni under the principle of "velayat-e faqih," or rule of the supreme jurisprudent.

Karrubi recently said -- without naming Khamenei -- that he thinks the supreme jurisprudent wields more authority than that given by God to His prophets and the imams.

-- Golnaz Esfandiari

About This Blog

Persian Letters is a blog that offers a window into Iranian politics and society. Written primarily by Golnaz Esfandiari, Persian Letters brings you under-reported stories, insight and analysis, as well as guest Iranian bloggers -- from clerics, anarchists, feminists, Basij members, to bus drivers.

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