But as soon as that news spread, Mr. Karroubi’s son, Hussein
Karroubi, contacted Saham News, a news service affiliated with the
reform movement, to clarify that his father had not backed off any of
his charges of fraud, or of protesters’ being raped and sodomized by
prison staff members.
“I stand firmly by the belief that cheating took place in the
election and the results were doubtful, and I believe the vote count was
completely rigged,” the younger Mr. Karroubi said, quoting his father,
in an interview with Saham News. “However, since Mr. Khamenei endorsed
Mr. Ahmadinejad, for this very reason I consider him the president of
the current government of this system.” He referred to the supreme
leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.
That backhanded endorsement of Mr. Ahmadinejad’s standing, and the
decisions of Ayatollah Khamenei, came as a letter written to the supreme
leader by Mr. Khatami was made public. The letter, like Mr. Moussavi’s
New Year’s Eve statement, called on the government to end the political
crisis by releasing political prisoners, opening the political process
and battling extremism.