September 28, 2013
TRUST, BUT VERIFY:
Tehran's new tone sparks interest at home and abroad (Deutsche-Welle, 9/28/13)
Posted by Orrin Judd at September 28, 2013 7:55 AMRouhani said it was desirable that more political prisoners are released from prisons in his country. "We want to have empty prisons," he said at an event sponsored by the Asia Society and the Council on Foreign Relations in New York.Nobel Peace Prize laureate Shirin Ebadi called for the release of the leaders of the opposition Green movement, Mir Hossein Mousavi and Mahdi Karroubi. Whether this will happen, however, is questionable."The supreme leader Ali Khamenei seems to be allowing Rouhani more freedom on issues of censorship and the handling of detainees," Scott Lucas, an Iran expert at the University of Birmingham, UK, and editor of the Middle East portal EA WorldView, told DW.Lucas said he does not believe that Mousavi and Karroubi will be released soon. "Only if Rouhani's foreign and economic policy bears fruit and those who have been released do not cause problems, the most prominent dissidents could be freed," Lucas said.