On February 14, the United States condemned Iran's continued imprisonment of former presidential candidates and opposition leaders Mehdi Karroubi, Mir Hossein Mousavi, and his wife, women’s rights activist Zahra Rahnavard. They have been under house arrest for two years without being formally charged for any crimes. The United States also called on Iranian officials to hold fair and transparent presidential elections in June. The following is a statement by State Department Spokesperson Victoria Nuland.
February 14, 2013
Two Year Anniversary of the House Arrests of Iranian Opposition Leaders
Two years ago today, the Iranian regime put former presidential candidates and opposition leaders Mehdi Karroubi, Mir Hossein Mousavi, and his wife, women’s rights activist Zahra Rahnavard, under house arrest without being formally charged for any crimes, and their situation remains unchanged. We join the international community in condemning their continued imprisonment and the harassment of their family members, and in calling for their immediate release. We further call on Iranian officials to conduct fair and transparent presidential elections in June that conform to internationally accepted standards and uphold the rights guaranteed under Iran’s own laws and constitution.
The United States remains deeply troubled by the Iranian regime’s latest campaign of fear and intimidation to extinguish dissent, eliminate freedom of expression and deny the Iranian people their freedoms at the same time that it fails to hold the worst human rights abusers responsible for their actions. We are equally concerned by the ongoing bans on political parties and the imprisonment of political leaders in the lead up to Iran’s presidential elections in June. Officials have tried to limit open political debate with the detention of more than a dozen journalists and the regime has also tried to silence numerous activists and human rights defenders through arrests and intimidation. We repeat our appeal for the immediate release of these individuals and of all prisoners who are being held for their religious or political beliefs.