Iranian opposition leader tests positive for COVID-19

Mir Hossein Mousavi and his wife, who have been under house arrest since 2011, test positive for coronavirus and are in good condition.

Elad Benari ,

Tehran
Tehran
iStock

An Iranian opposition leader who ran in the disputed 2009 presidential election and his activist wife have tested positive for the coronavirus while under house arrest, The Associated Press reported Sunday, citing the semi-official ILNA news agency.

A person close to the family confirmed that Mir Hossein Mousavi and his wife Zahra Rahnavard had contracted the virus, but that they were in good condition and receiving the necessary care.

The report said the two were tested after they began feeling symptoms.

Mousavi and another reformist politician, Mehdi Karroubi, were candidates during the 2009 presidential election, and questioned the shock victory of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad which led to mass protests.

A year later, in 2010, government forces firebombed the five-story Tehran home of Karroubi, and beat his bodyguard into unconsciousness.

The two have been under house arrest since 2011 for their part in the mass protests after the 2009 election.

During their house arrest, Mousavi and Rahnavard are reportedly allowed occasional visits from their family and certain close political friends, according to AP.

Mousavi and Rahnavard both endorsed current President Hassan Rouhani during his 2013 run.

Rouhani, despite being touted by the West as a “moderate”, did not act to release Mousavi and Karroubi from house arrest despite promising to do so during both his 2013 and 2017 election campaigns.

Iran has for months wrestled with the worst outbreak in the Middle East of COVID-19.

In a clear sign of the scale of the outbreak, dozens of top officials have fallen ill. At least 30 lawmakers have tested positive in recent months and some have died.

Iran’s former parliament speaker, Ali Larijani, tested positive for the virus in April and returned to work after convalescing for three weeks. The current speaker, Mohammad Bagher Ghalibaf, tested positive in late October.

The head of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI), Ali Akbar Salehi, contracted the coronavirus days earlier.

High-profile deaths in Iran from the coronavirus include a member of the council advising the Ayatollah, a former ambassador, a newly-elected member of parliament, an adviser to Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif and a re-elected member of parliament.



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