TEHRAN, (Reuters) – Iran has banned an ally of the country’s opposition leader Mirhossen Mousavi from leaving the Islamic state, the official IRNA news agency reported on Saturday.
Abolfazl Fateh, head of Mousavi’s media office, said the ban would not change his political stance, adding he was banned from leaving Iran because of his “role” in post-election developments.
Fateh had been studying for a doctorate in Britain.
“Such pressures can not push people like me to change our political stances,” Fateh told IRNA. “The imposed ban will not change my political views.”
Iranian authorities have used a combination of warnings, arrests and the threat of police action to drive mass rallies off Tehran’s street since Saturday with smaller gatherings dispersed with tear gas and baton charges.
Authorities have accused Mousavi of responsibility for the bloodshed, while he says the government is to blame. State media have said 20 people were killed in the violence.
The state-run Iran newspaper said Fateh was banned from leaving the country because of his involvement in post-election developments.
Mousavi has called for an annulment of the vote because of “election rigging”.
The semi-official ILNA news agency said Mousavi had urged the Interior Ministry to allow a rally by his supporters at the Azadi square in southwest Tehran. No date has been mentioned in the report.
Iran’s top legislative body has said it found no major violations in the June 12 presidential election which it described as the “healthiest” since the 1979 Islamic Revolution, but said 10 percent of ballot boxes would be recounted.
Tehran streets were calm on Saturday and life was back to normal.
The establishment has made it clear it had no intention of holding a new election and has set up a special court to deal with hundreds of detained protesters. A hardline Iranian cleric has called for the execution of leading “rioters”.
U.S. President Barack Obama on Friday praised the bravery of Iranians who protested against a disputed election in the face of “outrageous” violence.
President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad repeated his call to Obama on Saturday to not interfere in Iran’s state matters. “While Obama talks about change why is he following (former U.S. President George W.) Bush’s path and interferes in our state matters,” he told a conference in Tehran, IRNA reported.
Iran’s Foreign Ministry summoned Swedish Ambassador Magnus Werndstedt after a “terrorist” attack on Iran’s embassy in Stockholm on Friday, IRNA reported on Saturday. It said an embassy employee was injured during the attack.