Monday, December 28, 2009

Iran arrests key opposition figures in effort to end protests

The Iranian authorities made a desperate attempt to cut off the resurgent opposition movement at its roots on Monday, making a string of arrests close to its leadership.

A former regime foreign minister, three close aides to Mir Hossein Mousavi, the defeated presidential candidate, and two aides to Mohammad Khatami, the former president, were all taken away by security forces, according to the opposition.

The arrests followed Sunday's violence, the worst on the streets of Iran's major cities since the protests immediately after the disputed re-election of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in June. State media confirmed eight deaths, though one report put the number at 15.