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Karoubi’s Hunger Strike Forces Iranian Government to Comply with His Demands | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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Iranian opposition figure Mehdi Karoubi. (AFP)

London – Iranian opposition figure Mehdi Karoubi broke his hunger strike on Thursday after forcing the Iranian government to comply with his demands and withdraw security guards from his Tehran residence, which has been under 24-hour surveillance since 2011.

The authorities also vowed to accept his second demand of putting him on a public trial.

After launching a hunger strike this week, Karoubi was hospitalized on Thursday when his blood pressure dropped.

Karoubi and another reformist leader Mirhossein Mousavi and his wife Zahra Rahnavard have been under house arrest since February 2011, when they protested against the results of the 2009 presidential elections, in which Mahmoud Ahmadinejad was reelected for a second term.

On Thursday, the Iranian opposition figure was visited by the health and deputy intelligence ministers after he was taken to hospital. Both men negotiated with Karoubi to convince him to end his hunger strike, his son Mohammad Taghi Karoubi tweeted on Thursday, adding that the government has promised to do its best to fulfill his father’s demand for a public trial.

The 79-year-old had started his hunger strike only two weeks after suffering from a heart attack.

His wife, Fatemeh Karoubi said that her husband had gone on hunger strike on Wednesday, as he could no longer tolerate the conditions of his house arrest.

On Thursday, Karoubi’s hunger strike threw its weight on an Iranian parliament session aimed at discussing the government lineup presented last week by President Hassan Rouhani.

The Hope reformist bloc demanded Rouhani and Sadegh Larijani, the head of Iran’s judiciary to take urgent steps to resolve the house arrests of Karoubi, Mousavi and his wife.

Karoubi’s hunger strike also received wide support in the Iranian streets and among political figures.

Former President Mohammad Khatami and Hasssan Khomeini, the grandson of the Islamic Republic’s founder, addressed two separate letters to Rouhani, demanding him to order security guards to leave Karoubi’s house.