The White House is accusing the Iranian regime of “hypocrisy” for placing a leading opposition figure under house arrest. Mehdi Karroubi, one of the leaders of Iran’s Green Movement after the rigged elections in June 2009, has been placed under house arrest in Tehran and is unable to meet with his relatives. Karroubi, along with Mir Hussein Mousavi, is attempting to revive Iran’s opposition movement after demonstrations in Tunisia and Egypt have won concessions from authoritarian regimes there. The protests are scheduled for this coming Monday. The opposition figures asked for – and were denied – permission to hold the demonstration by Iranian authorities.
"This arrest underscores the hypocrisy of the Iranian leadership,” says Tommy Vietor, spokesman for the National Security Council. “For all of its empty talk about Egypt, the government of Iran should allow the Iranian people the same universal right to peacefully assemble and demonstrate in Tehran that the people are exercising in Cairo. Governments must respect the rights of their people and be responsive to their aspirations."
Yesterday, State Department spokesman P. J. Crowley sent out a tweet criticizing the Iranian regime for pretending to support the protestors in Egypt. “There is a certain irony about #Iran's reaction to #Egypt. What is good for #TahrirSquare should be good for #Tehran.” Crowley is correct, of course, but what is good for Tahrir Square was also good for Tehran in June 2009. Lesson learned?