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Second Iranian Opposition Leader In Poor Health, Family Says

Iranian oppositionist Mir Hossein Musavi (file photo)

A second Iranian opposition figure who is under house arrest has fallen ill, Iranian news agencies report, citing family members.

Mir Hossein Musavi, 75, under house arrest since 2011, is suffering from irregular blood pressure and dizziness and is unable to walk without assistance, the opposition Kaleme website reported on July 26, citing information provided by his daughters.

This comes two days after reports that fellow opposition leader Mehdi Karrubi, 79, also under house arrest for the past six years, had been hospitalized due to a heart condition.

Karrubi’s son, Mohammad Taghi Karrubi, told RFE/RL's Radio Farda on July 24 that his father’s health problems have been caused by his detention.

Karrubi, along with Musavi and Musavi’s wife, Zahra Rahnavard, were placed under house arrest in February 2011 for challenging the establishment over the disputed 2009 presidential vote and also for highlighting human rights abuses.

Rights groups have repeatedly called for the release of the three opposition figures.

A relative moderate, President Hassan Rohani has promised to free political prisoners, but he has largely failed to fulfill the pledge that he first made during the presidential election in 2013.

During his re-election campaign earlier this year, Rohani said he would work for the release of Karrubi, Musavi, and Rahnavard. But he faces heavy opposition to the move from the country’s hard-liners.

Earlier this year, both Karrubi and Musavi pledged support for Rohani in the May 19 presidential election, in which Rohani easily won a new four-year term over a conservative challenger.

Based on reporting by RFE/RL’s Radio Farda, Kaleme, and Reuters