By Joseph Braude
The Associated Press reports that Iranian opposition figure Mahdi Karroubi, still under house arrest, has accused Khamenei of bringing “disastrous results” to the country due to the IRGC’s undue power and influence. In an open letter to the Supreme Leader, Karroubi wrote, “You have been Iran’s top leader for three decades, but still speak like an opposition. … You have eliminated the main revolutionary forces to implement your own policies, and now you should face the results of that.” Karrubi alleged that more than 50 percent of the country’s wealth is in the hands of bodies without supervision. He also wrote the following: “I urge you, before it is too late, to open the way to structural reforms of the system. The system is going downhill to such an extent that it feels endangered by a few thousand people demonstrating. Instead of repeating accusations of links with the enemy and instead of harsh confrontation, listen to them.”
Christian activist Nina Shea penned an opinion piece drawing attention to the young Iranian woman who, on December 27, flouted Iran’s compulsory veiling of women buy standing in public head uncovered. She described her as a “veritable icon of the leaderless economic protests, even though her solitary act of defiance was independent of them.” Among other prescriptions, Shea called on the U.S. Ambassador at Large for Religious Freedom to train the spotlight on the hijab protests, and urged Voice of America to “cease uncritical reporting of Iranian propaganda.”
AP also reports that Iran has sentenced an Iranian-American art dealer and his wife to 27 and 16 years in prison, respectively, for being Zoroastrians.