Foreigners guiding opposition, Iran says

Feb. 25, 2011 at 11:27 AM
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TEHRAN, Feb. 25 (UPI) -- Iranian opposition leaders are getting guidance from foreign governments and terrorist networks, the head of the Iranian intelligence agency said.

Iran is cracking down on members of the opposition as waves of unrest splash across much of the Arab world. The clerical regime in Tehran was under threat in 2009 after protesters took to the streets to complain about the re-election of Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

Opposition leaders Mir Hossein Mousavi and Mehdi Karroubi are being watched by Iranian security forces. Iranian Intelligence Minister Heydar Moslehi said on state television that his agency has information to suggest opposition leaders were getting advice from foreign countries, Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty reports.

He said authorities arrested a person who was allegedly tied to the U.S. intelligence network. He also accused opposition adviser Ardeshir Amir Arjomand of having links to the People's Mujahedin of Iran, an exiled opposition group listed by the United States as a terrorist organization.

Arjomand told Radio Farda, RFE/RL's Persian bureau, that the accusations were misguided.

"Instead of making the country safe, security forces are busy leveling accusations against the opposition and creating cases that are full of lies against influential people," he was quoted as saying.

RFE/RL adds that opposition groups vowed to have weekly protests until the Iranian New Year in March. Witnesses told the news agency that parts of Tehran looked like a "military base."

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