Iran's Karroubi Tries a More Confrontational Approach
Time Magazine / Andrew Lee Butters

He may have finished last in Iran's disputed presidential election, but in the weeks that followed, Mehdi Karroubi has often taken the lead in challenging the Iranian government. After the announcement of the result triggered massive demonstrations in June, Karroubi was one of the first major figures to blame the government for the violence — a brave act considering that the state media was calling the demonstrations riots instigated by foreign powers. And when Basiji militiamen roughed him up on the way to Friday prayers last month, Karroubi spoke out again. "They want to create an atmosphere of threat and terror so that people are kept silent," he said. And despite the growing atmosphere of official intolerance for challenges to the postelection order, Karroubi has again infuriated supporters of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad by publicizing the charge that opposition protesters were raped and abused in prison.

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