TEHRAN - Iranian authorities will crack down this week on any public protest against the year-long house arrest of opposition leaders, Mirhossein Mousavi and Mehdi Karoubi, an official was quoted as saying on Sunday.
Iran, at odds with the West over its disputed nuclear program, holds a parliamentary election on March 2, its first national poll since Mousavi and Karoubi were beaten by Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in a 2009 vote they said was rigged. The two leaders were placed under house arrest on Feb. 14 last year after they urged their supporters to join a rally in support of popular uprisings across the Arab world.
Tehran provincial governor Morteza Tamaddon said a call by reformists for a rally on Wednesday to mark the anniversary of the curbs imposed on Mousavi and Karoubi was a "publicity stunt" by opponents of Iran's Islamic revolution.
"We will confront such moves with full preparation and all kinds of security apparatus," the reformist Kaleme website quoted Tamaddon as saying.