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Grand Ayatollah 'Prevented From Meeting Iranian Opposition Leader'

Grand Ayathollah Bayat Zanjani, a high ranking Iranian cleric, was prevented from meeting with an Iranian opposition leader.
Iranian security forces are reported to have prevented a senior cleric from meeting with opposition leader Mehdi Karrubi over the weekend, RFE/RL's Radio Farda reports.

Karrubi's son Hossein told Radio Farda on November 9 that Grand Ayatollah Assadollah Bayat Zanjani had telephoned his father on the morning of November 7 to say he wanted to come to talk to him that evening.

"Three or four hours before his arrival, security agents appeared in front of my father's house," Hossein explained. "When the Ayatollah [Zanjani] arrived, they asked him to leave the area and not enter the house."

Hossein Karrubi added that all his father's phone calls are monitored, so whenever he arranges to meet someone, security forces show up in front of his house.

Restrictions on the activities of opposition leaders Karrubi and Mir Hossein Musavi have intensified in recent months. Two weeks ago, security forces tried without success to stop Karrubi from entering Musavi's house.

Ayatollah Zanjani, who is a source of emulation, has supported Karrubi and Musavi since the disputed presidential election in June 2009, as have Grand Ayatollahs Yusef Sanei, Ali Mohammad Dastgheib, and Hossein Ali Montazeri, who died in December.

According to the opposition Jaras website, Ayatollah Zanjani was recently threatened by Iranian security services after he refused to meet with Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei during his trip to the holy city of Qom.