Page last updated at 18:10 GMT, Thursday, 11 February 2010

Son of Iran opposition leader describes attack

Iranian opposition leader, Mehdi Karroubi
Iranian politician Mehdi Karroubi after being hit on head with shoe, Oct 2009

Iran's two main opposition leaders, Mehdi Karroubi and Mir Hossein Mousavi, have been beaten up by security forces at a rally marking the anniversary of the Islamic revolution.

One of Mr Karroubi's sons, Mohammad Taghi Karroubi, told BBC Persian TV what happened when his father tried to join his supporters at the event in Tehran.

There was heavy traffic leading up to Saddeqiya Street, so my father Mehdi Karroubi got out of his car with some of his friends and started to walk.

As soon as the Green movement supporters spotted him they started cheering.

Special forces, the police and some plain-clothes forces then started to attack both my father and his supporters.

They used tear gas, batons and other weapons. They were armed and some were carrying cleavers and guns.

They sprayed tear gas into my father's face, burning him, and he was also hit on the head with a stone.

My father's face is burnt from the tear gas and his eye is injured

People in the crowd helped him to get away. A kind man gave him a lift but then the special forces started attacking cars.

They smashed the window of the car my father was in.

My father is back at home under medication and doctor's supervision. He has breathing problems, his face is burnt from the tear gas and his eye is injured.

We are worried because I was with him on Students' Day [7 December 2009] and I saw a guard deliberately point his gun at him. Everyone who was there today believes that the violence used is beyond belief.

My father's security situation is very vulnerable at the moment. We heard from his official state bodyguards that some opponents of the regime might cause trouble, so we decided to rely on friends and people we know.

We asked some of our war veterans from the Iran-Iraq war to help us. But in the last 48 hours some of these people have been arrested.

They were called this morning and told that if they guarded certain people they would be arrested.

So we ended up with security guards provided by the Security Council who Mr Karroubi had already stood down. But the authorities were adamant they should stay.

So the only security he had today was the official guards and his sons. One of my brothers got arrested today. The authorities' behaviour is very hard to understand.

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