Iran’s president-elect hints at releasing opposition leaders

Iran’s president-elect Hassan Rouhani has indirectly called for releasing opposition leaders and helping to cope with problems and misunderstandings, the Mehr News Agency reported.

“We should pave the way for those who are ready to come back (from their erroneous past)”, he added.

Although he did not mention explicitly to anyone, but in recent weeks and after his victory in the presidential election, some political factions and figures have urged him to take action to release opposition leaders Mir Hossein Mousavi and Mehdi Karroubi – the two candidates who protested the results of 2009 presidential election – and a number of other political prisoners.

Following Rouhani’s election victory, supporters chanted slogans in favour of Mir Hossein Mousavi and Mehdi Karroubi. Both politicians were placed under house arrest by the Iranian authorities after calling for protests in solidarity with anti-government uprisings in Egypt and Tunisia in 2011. Human rights groups and the United Nations have repeatedly called for their release.

On June 17, the Amnesty International said in a press release: “The victory of Hassan Rouhani, a 64-year-old cleric, in Iran’s presidential election, presents a new opportunity to address human rights abuses in the country.”

Hassan Rouhani, who is described as a moderate and a pragmatist, made a number of pledges to improve Iran’s dire human rights record during his electoral campaign, for which he must be held accountable in the coming months.

Meanwhile, reformist figure Mostafa Tajzadeh, who is currently serving a six-year jail term in the quarantine ward of the Evin Prison, has said that Rohani should not be expected to resolve all problems in a short time.

By Trend


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