Iranian opposition leader Mousavi rushed to hospital for heart problem

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 25 August, 2012, 12:00am
UPDATED : Saturday, 25 August, 2012, 8:25am


Leading Iranian opposition figure Mir Hossein Mousavi, under house arrest for more than a year, has been taken to hospital with a heart problem, one of his former senior advisers said.

"Mousavi was taken to the hospital this morning [Thursday] after his blood vessels became blocked," said Ardeshir Amir Arjomand, a leading exiled opposition figure.

"He has not been feeling well since last night, but the security forces did not take him to the hospital until this morning because they wanted to instal cameras there," Arjomand said by telephone from Paris.

Mousavi and fellow reformist Mehdi Karoubi ran for election against President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in June 2009 and became figureheads for the ensuing protests by Iranians who accused authorities of rigging the vote.

The government denied any wrongdoing and said Iran's foreign enemies had plotted to overthrow the country's leaders by stirring up the protests, the biggest opposition demonstrations since the 1979 revolution.

Mousavi, his wife Zahra Rahnavard and Karoubi have been held incommunicado since February last year, when the two opposition leaders called their supporters onto the streets for a rally in support of Arab uprisings.

Months after the 2009 election, members of parliament called for the pair to be tried and hanged, but the authorities chose to isolate rather than officially arrest them, wary of angering their supporters.