Iran’s opposition leaders Mousavi and Karoubi may have fled Tehran for their lives

from debka.com 12-30-2009 debka.com

DEBKAfile Exclusive Report

December 30, 2009, 9:49 PM (GMT+02:00)

Iran's opposition leaders fear for their lives

Iran’s opposition leaders fear for their lives

The huge pro-government demonstrations whipped up by the Iranian regime Wednesday, Dec. 30 shouted “Death to Mousavi, Karoubi and Khatami!” after they were promised “great events” in the course of the day. At nightfall, the waiting crowds learned from the national news agency: “Two of the chiefs of the sedition left Tehran for the north of Iran after learning that the population was increasingly angry and demanding their punishment.”

Their relatives denied this, saying that both are still in Tehran but did not specify whether they were free or in custody.

DEBKAfile’s Iranian sources report: The gunning down of Mousavi’s nephew earlier this week instilled the fear that top opposition leaders were in danger of their lives. Wednesday, government media accused them of desecrating the holy day of Ashura and deserving “execution” for their weeklong protest rallies until Tuesday, Dec. 29.

Security forces clamped down on the protesters, shooting live ammunition and tear gas. The officially admitted death toll of 15 is said by our Iranian sources to be at least three times that number. Hundreds were arrested, among them several leading dissidents including clerics.

Iran’s state media claimed the two purported fugitives had fled to Mazaneran Province (on the coast of the Caspian Sea) ahead of the angry population. According to our sources, the Iranian authorities appear to be gearing up to feed the Iranian street more drama and fuel its anger.

The opposition website Rahesabz said “members of the Revolutionary Guards and the intelligence ministry had picked up Mousavi and Karroubi in the city of Kelar-Abad to protect them from the anger of the people.”

If this is true, they are both in custody and can expect to be put on trial for treason against God and the Islamic regime, charges which carry the death sentence.

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