Iran Still Simmering.
“TEHRAN: The wife of Iranian opposition leader Mirhossein Mousavi said yesterday her 62-year-old brother was among those detained after last month’s disputed election in what she called a futile attempt to pressure her husband and herself.
Zahra Rahnavard also warned authorities that Iranians would not believe any “forced confessions” from her brother.
Her comments were the latest in a series of defiant statements by Mousavi and his allies, who insist the June 12 presidential election that declared President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad winner was rigged.
“We have tried all legal and peaceful means to try to win his release along with other detainees,” Rahnavard, a prominent artist and academic who campaigned for her husband in the election, told ILNA news agency.
“Rahnavard on Thursday said the Iranian people would not believe any “forced confessions.” Of her brother, she said, “accusations of provoking riots or connections to foreigners … are unimaginable.”
She warned those that are making accusations against detainees that “a divine anger will catch them and the nation will reject them.”
Rahnavard, a former dean of Tehran’s al-Zahra University, campaigned alongside her husband in the election, a rarity for a candidate’s wife, which made her a star among women and student supporters. Her original name is Zohreh Kazemi but she changed it in the 1960s when she became an activist against the U.S.-backed shah, and she was a prominent activist in the 1979 revolution that brought the Islamic Republic to power.
Mousavi, meanwhile, sharply criticized what he called the increasing power of security forces in the postelection crackdown. Iran was “heading in the direction of becoming more militarized, more security-dominated, something no one will welcome,” he said.
“The security forces must move in the framework of the constitution to minimize the loses in this near-coup d’etat atmosphere,” he said Wednesday, according to ILNA. He said he would release a political platform soon calling for “activating neglected parts of the constitution” that ensure the people’s voice is heard and that security forces’ powers are kept in check. He did not elaborate.”