Iran Moves to Ban Two Opposition Parties

Authorities in Iran this week reportedly banned two of the country’s official opposition parties; and on Monday, two opposition leaders from the Islamic Iran Participation Front and the Mujaheddin of the Islamic Revolution Organization were handed prison sentences.

The move to ban the opposition parties must still be confirmed by the Iranian judiciary, which has turned more conservative since former Judiciary Chairman Mahmoud Hashemi Shahroudi left office and Sadeq Larijani took over the leadership role.

The Islamic Iran Participation Front and the Mujaheddin of the Islamic Revolution Organization parties advocated more civil liberties and changes in Iran’s system of Shiite religious rule. The political parties together comprised one of the country’s main political blocs.

Iran’s main political opposition group, the Green Movement, is reportedly not an officially recognized party in the country. Green party leaders include former Prime Minister Mir Hossein Mousavi and former Majlis Speaker Mehdi Karroubi. Mousavi, who was the leading Green Party candidate, was declared to have lost in a highly controversial election that had so many people claiming electoral fraud that they were willing to take to the streets en mass protesting the official outcome of the election.

The move to ban the opposition parties follows the sentencing on Sunday of two of the parties’ leaders, including Mohsen Mirdamadi of the Front and Mostafa Tajzadeh of the Mujaheddin, to six year prison terms for charges related to national security.

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