Defeated presidential candidate Mehdi Karoubi has accused Iran’s government of torturing political prisoners being held in jail. On his internet site, Karoubi — who claims last months poll was rigged — denounced the tactics used by authorities and called for the immediate release of those still behind bars.
Opposition supporters continue to contest the election result, which has plunged the country into its biggest internal crisis since the 1979 Islamic Revolution, exposing deep divisions within the ruling elite. Earlier on Saturday, Iran’s vice president was sacked following pressure from hardliners. Ayatollah Ali Khamenei had called for Esfandiar Rahim Mashaie dismissal after he said in 2008 that Iranians and Israel’s were friends. Until yesterday President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad had refused to buckle over his appointment in a standoff with Iran’s Supreme Leader.