Middle East

Iran oppositionist accused of insulting troops in Syria

Head of Iranian opposition party questions merits of military intervention in Syria, Lebanon, Yemen

Iran oppositionist accused of insulting troops in Syria

By Abdulsalam Salimpour and Mustafa Melih Ahishali


Iran’s public prosecutor on Wednesday heard a lawsuit lodged against an opposition party leader -- known for his close ties with Iran’s reformist current -- for allegedly "insulting Iranian soldiers fighting in Syria”.

In an address delivered last Friday at an electoral rally in the city of Isfahan, Gholamhossein Karbaschi, head of the Kargozaran-e Sazandegi-e Iran Party, voiced sorrow over the deaths of Iranian soldiers fighting in war-torn Syria.

“Our hearts long for peace in Syria, Lebanon and Yemen; that the oppressed be given succor and that the Shia are empowered,” Karbaschi declared in his address.

“But can this be achieved by sending money and arms and by carrying out military operations [in the above-mentioned conflict zones]?" he asked.

Karbaschi went on to urge Tehran to resolve regional crises via diplomatic means -- an appeal that soon drew the ire of his conservative critics.

A former mayor of Tehran, Karbaschi and his party support incumbent President Hassan Rouhani -- a reformist -- in presidential polls slated for May 19.

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