TEHRAN, Dec. 31 (UPI) — The dissident People’s Mujahedin of Iran is responsible for the assassination of the nephew of Iranian opposition leader Mir Hossein Mousavi, officials said.
Demonstrations in Iran on the Shiite holy day of Ashura turned violent as supporters of the opposition movement clashed with security forces and set fire to a local police station.
Iran puts the official death toll from the weekend unrest at eight, while opposition Web sites claim as many as 12 died in the weekend demonstrations.
Among the dead was Ali Mousavi, the nephew of opposition leader and former Prime Minister Mousavi. Early reports said Mousavi was assassinated during a drive-by shooting in Tehran; government authorities denied involvement in the attack.
Iranian Intelligence Minister Haidar Moslehi said investigators now believe members of the PMOI were behind the assassination, Iran’s semiofficial Fars News Agency reports.
“We have no doubt that (the PMOI) has been involved in this issue,” he said.
The PMOI is under fire to leave its base in Iraq’s Diyala province. The group earned a terrorist designation for its violent action against the clerical regime in Iran. It now claims it is acting peacefully to advocate regime change in Tehran.
Tehran blames the PMOI, the United States and Britain for the political unrest in the country.