02/03/2014, 00.00
IRAN
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Tehran: Mehdi Karroubi still under house arrest, but at his home

The authorities ease the Green Wave leader's confinement. He now will be able to live at his home in Tehran's Jamaran neighbourhood. A friend expresses cautious optimism for his future and that of Mousavi.

Tehran (AsiaNews/Agencies) - Iranian authorities have eased the terms of confinement of Mehdi Karroubi, one of two leaders of the movement 'Green Wave' that tried to oppose the re-election of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in 2009.

According to his son Hussein, the former president of the Iranian Parliament was allowed to go home after being held for years at a house controlled by Iran's secret services.

Although still under arrest, "Finally, he was transferred to his private house in Jamaran," Hussein Karroubi wrote on Facebook.

A cleric, Mehdi Karroubi is a prominent figure in Iranian politics. Along with a Mir Hossein Mousavi, he led the Green Wave protest movement that paralysed the country for a few months in 2009.

The Green Wave protests, which broke out when election results gave Ahmadinejad a second mandate, were the most impressive challenge to the Islamic republic since the 1979 Islamic Revolution.

Some 20 people died and hundreds were arrested during the standoff between the government and the opposition.

Both Karroubi and Mousavi were placed under house arrest in 2011, despite the fact that no formal charges were ever filed against them.

So far, there are no signs that either will be released outright. However, Ali Shakurirad, a radiologist and a close friend of the two families, expressed guarded optimism. "It is a good signal for better days," Shakurirad said when he heard that Karroubi was allowed to go home.

This decision is part of a wider plan by the new Iranian president, moderate Hassan Rouhani, aimed at opening up to the West.

Since his election, Iran's president has sought to talk even with the United States, i.e. the 'Great Satan', pledging to open the country to foreign investment in exchange for an easing of international sanctions.

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