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Motahari struck by thugs in Shiraz.

A group of street thugs on motorcycles attacked Majlis Deputy Ali Motahari in Shiraz Monday and forced him to leave the city.

The attackers were not identified and no reason for the attack was given. It was widely assumed, however, that he was targeted for his most recent political endeavor--calling on the regime to release 2009 presidential candidates Mir-Hossain Musavi and Mehdi Karrubi from house arrest.

The attack started at the Shiraz city airport, where Motahari had just arrived to give a speech. The state news agency said a band of people began chanting insults as soon as Motahari descended from the aircraft.

The news agency said the group attacked his car with stones and sticks, shattering the car's windows. Motahari's driver managed to drive the car to a nearby police station, but the attackers mounted motorcycles, followed the car, and surrounded the police station for three hours.

[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]

The news agency said Motahari's eye was injured during the assault. Finally, he canceled his planned speech and returned to Tehran.

This wasn't the first time Motahari found himself under attack for his calls to free Musavi and Karrubi. In January, several hardline lawmakers interrupted Motahari while he was speaking from the Majlis rostrum about the house arrest issue. They charged the rostrum and prevented him from completing his speech.

Motahari has repeatedly said the detentions harm the Islamic Republic's reputation abroad and raise tensions inside the country. He has said house arrest without any trial or court order violates Iran's Constitution and the basic standards of justice. Motahari, the son of one of the clerics who are icons of the revolution, is a conservative, but is rather eclectic in his politics and seems to be more respected on the reform side of the system than among fellow conservatives.

Motahari's father, Morteza, is considered one of the key influences on the ideologies of the Islamic Republic. He was a disciple of Ayatollah Khomeini during the Shah's reign and formed the Revolutionary Council at Khomeini's request. He was chairman of the council at the time of his assassination, May 1, 1979.

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Title Annotation:Majlis Deputy Ali Motahari
Publication:Iran Times International (Washington, DC)
Geographic Code:7IRAN
Date:Mar 13, 2015
Words:350
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