TribLIVE

| USWorld

 
Larger text Larger text Smaller text Smaller text | Order Photo Reprints

Hard-line critics in Iran stoke tensions, hospitalizing foreign minister

Email Newsletters

Click here to sign up for one of our email newsletters.

Daily Photo Galleries

'American Coyotes' Series

Traveling by Jeep, boat and foot, Tribune-Review investigative reporter Carl Prine and photojournalist Justin Merriman covered nearly 2,000 miles over two months along the border with Mexico to report on coyotes — the human traffickers who bring illegal immigrants into the United States. Most are Americans working for money and/or drugs. This series reports how their operations have a major impact on life for residents and the environment along the border — and beyond.

By The Associated Press
Wednesday, Oct. 9, 2013, 7:18 p.m.
 

TEHRAN — Iran's foreign minister fired back against hard-line critics of Tehran's groundbreaking outreach to the United States, accusing opponents on Wednesday of using fabricated news leaks and other tactics to undermine the effort — and even checking himself into the hospital because of the stress it caused.

Mohammad Javad Zarif said the political battles had become so tense that it brought on back pain and spasms. He wrote on his Facebook page that he canceled appointments and went to a hospital for a check-up late Tuesday.

The source of his distress: an article in a hard-line newspaper that Zarif said misquoted him on the subject of the new Iranian administration's outreach to the United States.

The image of the U.S.-educated Zarif forced to seek medical attention because of stress underscored the high-level tensions inside Iran's leadership after the historic exchanges last month at the United Nations, including President Obama's phone conversation with his Iranian counterpart, Hassan Rouhani. The call angered hard-liners.

In another sign of the Rouhani camp's moves to steer a more moderate course, government spokesman Mohammad Bagher Nobakht was quoted by the semiofficial Fars news agency as saying that authorities are considering freeing two opposition leaders who have been under house arrest since early 2011.

The two figures, Mir Hossein Mousavi and Mahdi Karroubi, ran in 2009 presidential elections, challenging Rouhani's predecessor, Mahmoud Ahmedinejad. They then led giant protests over Ahmadinejad's disputed win in that election.

Since last month, officials have freed more than 90 people jailed in the crackdowns on those protests.

No timetable was given for the review, but even the consideration of releasing the two suggests further moves at political reconciliation that could meet resistance from conservatives.

Subscribe today! Click here for our subscription offers.

 

 


Show commenting policy

Most-Read World

  1. Comets hold life building blocks
  2. Vibrantly colored mural spread across 200 homes in central Mexico city
  3. Al-Qaida branch in Syria threatens U.S.-backed forces
  4. Zimbabwe suspends hunts amid outcry over lion’s death
  5. Talks fail to yield accord in Pacific
  6. Bin Laden relatives among crash casualties
  7. Taliban fracture outcome unclear
  8. Al-Qaida group in Syria targeted by U.S.-led coalition airstrikes
  9. Senate to grill United Nations agency chief Amano on Iran nuclear pact
  10. Syria’s embattled President Assad admits manpower shortage
  11. Saudis’ deadly airstrikes resume in Yemen