TEHRAN (AFP) – Iranian security agents have raided the office of opposition leader Mir Hossein Mousavi, his website reported on Thursday, saying it was a move to stop him from highlighting the nation’s economic woes.
“Last night, security agents raided the office of Mir Hossein Mousavi. They searched the premises and took some equipment” including computers, Kaleme.com said without giving the exact location of the office.
“With the attack by plainclothes security agents on the office of Mousavi, it seems that another phase of restrictions has started,” it said.
The report said the raid was an attempt to prevent Mousavi from commenting on the country’s economic situation.
“The upcoming economic crisis… is among the worries of the government… They are distracting public opinion by imposing restrictions on people of the Green Movement like Mousavi and (Mehdi) Karroubi who are trying to give news on the status of the country,” Kaleme said.
Both men have repeatedly criticised the government of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad over its foreign policy as well as its handling of the economy.
On July 7, weeks after the UN Security Council imposed a fourth set of sanctions on Iran, Mousavi lashed out at Ahmadinejad. He said the measures would “decrease GDP, increase unemployment, create more hardships for people and widen the gap between us and other developing nations, especially our neighbours.”
He urged the government to tell the people about the impact of the sanctions.
“They should know the effect of this resolution… on their livelihood, inflation, the nation’s progress and security. If people are asked to resist (sanctions), then their trust should be earned by telling them the truth.”
Ahmadinejad has maintained that the sanctions will fail to have any impact on Iran.
The UN measures, followed by unilateral ones by the United States, Canada, Australia, Japan and South Korea, as well as the European Union, have targeted Iran’s vital financial and energy sectors.
Kaleme also said that, in the past few weeks, security agents deployed in the streets and alleys near the office had been “preventing people from entering” the premises.
It also said the office manager had been arrested recently.
“Based on reports received by Kaleme, we anticipate more intense actions” against the opposition leader, the website added.
Another opposition website, Rahesabz.net, said that over the past few months the Revolutionary Guards, who are in charge of the security of officials, “changed a number of Mousavi’s guards with unknown people.”
It said agents prevented visitors from entering Mousavi’s office by “either detaining or interrogating them,” adding that Mohammad Reza Khatami, brother of former president and opposition supporter Mohammad Khatami, was also stopped from meeting Mousavi.
Earlier this month, Kaleme reported that the Guards and Islamist militiamen had besieged Karroubi’s home before the annual Quds Day rally in support of the Palestinians.
The Guards denied its members were involved, blaming it on “rogue elements” not linked to it or the Basij militia.
Mousavi and Karroubi continue to maintain that Ahmadinejad’s re-election last year was the result of massive vote rigging.