Radiofarda – Foreign-based Iranian opposition news website Kalemeh reported on Monday June 10 that Iran’s security officials have informed Zahra Rahnavard, a reformist Green Movement leader under house arrest that she may use cell phone and satellite TV at her home if she chooses to do so.
Zahra Rahnavard and her husband former Prime Minister Mir Hossein Mousavi have been under house arrest since 2011 after millions of Iranians took to the streets several times in their support following the disputed 2009 presidential election which allowed hardline President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to cling to power as Iran’s president for a second term.
Security officials have suggested to install satellite TV equipment for Mousavi and Rahnavard at their house so that they can watch a limited number of selected TV channels.
The suggestion is made while according to Iranian laws people are not allowed to own or watch satellite TV, although millions of Iranians keep watching foreign-based channels via satellite TV, regardless of occasional clamp downs and confiscation by law enforcemnt.
Some estimates say up to 70 percent of Iranians have access to Persian satellite TV channels broadcasting unrestricted news and information from abroad.
In early February 2011, hardline Guardian Council Chairman Ahmad Jannati suggested to the Islamic Republic officials to cut off telephone, internet and TV networks in order to further isolate Green Movement leaders, i.e., Mousavi, Rahnavard and Mehdi Karroubi who is also under house arrest in another part of Tehran.
During the past years, Mousavi and Rahnavard have been allowed to make limited phone calls and receive guests at their home, which happens to be very close to where Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei lives.
Nevertheless, Mousavi, Rahnavard and Karroubi’s requests for free and fair trial have been always been turned down by officials.
Both Mousavi and Karroubi were candidates in the 2009 presidential elections and millions of their supporters still believe that Mousavi won the election, but the results were rigged in collusion with IRGC to announce Ahmadinejad’s name as the winner.
In videos surfaced recently, former IRGC commander Mohammad Ali Jafari and Khamenei’s representative to IRGC, a cleric named Saeedi implied intervention in the election although based on Iran’s constitutional law, military officials should not intervene in political matters.
Conservative MP Ali Motahari who has spoken to Khamenei to facilitate their release, has said that Khamenei is against putting an end to Green Movement leaders’ house arrest.
It is still not known if former Majles Speaker Mehdi Karroubi has also been allowed to use cell phone and satellite TV.
Putting an end to Rahnavard, Mousavi and Karroubi’s house arrest has been among President Hassan Rouhani’s promises to voters in 2013 and 2017 presidential election campaigns.