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Ottawa turns to digital diplomacy to reach Iran ahead of June elections

OTTAWA - Canada is seeking to restore diplomatic relations with Iran — but not the old-fashioned way. Instead of ambassadors and attaches, the Foreign Affairs Department is aiming to connect with Iranians directly, via social media. They're working with the University of Toronto's Munk School to host two days of discussions that will be live-streamed online in the hopes of reaching and inspiring Iranians ahead of June's presidential elections.

Iran crackdown jeopardises fair election - UN rights envoy

* Arrests of journalists do not bode well, Shaheed says * Concerns for Iranian opposition leaders still detained * Envoy rejects Iran's "preposterous" claim of U.S. bribe * Iranian official calls U.N. report "counterproductive" By Stephanie Nebehay GENEVA, March 12 (Reuters) - Iran's silencing of journalists and opposition leaders could jeopardise the legitimacy of the presidential election in June, a United Nations human rights investigator said on Tuesday.

Iran questions opposition head's daughters: reports

Iran's security prosecutor questioned on Monday two daughters of leading opposition figure Mir Hossein Mousavi, who has been under house arrest for nearly two years, the ISNA news agency reported. Zahra and Narges Mousavi were summoned to "the security prosecutor ... to give some explanations," a spokesman for the Tehran prosecutor said, quoted by ISNA, without giving details on the interrogation. The two returned home later the same day, ISNA quoted Mohammad Saleh Noqrekar, a relative of Mousavi, as saying.

UN voices concern over Iran opposition detentions

Three UN human rights watchdogs on Monday expressed concern about Iran's reported arrest of family members of detained opposition figure Mir Hossein Mousavi, who they said should also be set free. In a joint statement, the monitors said Iran should release Mousavi's daughters, detained Monday, plus Mousavi and his wife, and fellow opposition leader Mehdi Karroubi.

UPDATE 3-Iran holds, questions opposition leaders' children

* Daughters, son held two years after house arrest * Mousavi and Karoubi stood in 2009 president vote * Both effectively barred from next poll in June (Adds calls from independent U.N. human rights investigators) DUBAI, Feb 11 (Reuters) - Iranian authorities held and questioned two daughters of detained opposition leader Mirhossein Mousavi and the son of fellow opposition figure Mehdi Karoubi for several hours on Monday, opposition websites reported.

Iran summons opposition figure daughters for 'explanations'

Iran's public prosecutor has summoned for questioning two daughters of opposition figure Mir Hossein Mousavi, who has been under house arrest for nearly two years, the ISNA news agency reported on Monday. "They were summoned... to give some explanations," ISNA quoted a spokesman for the prosecutor as saying, without giving details on the questioning. He said Zahra and Narges Mousavi would be released after their interrogation. A statement on the prosecutor's website denied an earlier report that the sisters had been arrested.

Iran arrests opposition figure's daughters: website

Security forces on Monday arrested two daughters of opposition figure Mir Hossein Mousavi who along with his wife is under house arrest, an opposition website reported. "Security forces raided the home of Zahra and Narges, and arrested them in the morning," Kaleme.com, which is close to Mousavi, said without citing a source. The judiciary is yet to comment on the report. Mousavi was a leading figure guiding opposition protests against the result of the 2009 presidential election, which gave President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad a second four-year term.

Iranian authorities arrest opposition leader's daughters-report

DUBAI, Feb 11 (Reuters) - Iranian authorities on Monday detained two daughters of leading opposition figure Mirhossein Mousavi, a former presidential candidate held under house arrest for nearly two years, an opposition-linked website reported. Mousavi stood in presidential elections in 2009 and was a figurehead of the big street protests over allegations of vote rigging that followed. He is held under house arrest with his wife Zahra Rahnavard.

UPDATE 3-Ally of Iran's Ahmadinejad charged, freed

* Mortazavi detained after Ahmadinejad accused rival * Row comes before presidential election in June * Supreme leader calls for calm (Adds Mortazavi hearing details) By Yeganeh Torbati DUBAI, Feb 6 (Reuters) - A once-feared prosecutor at the centre of a row between two of Iran's most powerful figures was charged and freed from two days' detention on Wednesday, adding a new twist to their feud just months before the country's next presidential election.

UN calls on Iran to stop arresting journalists

UN human rights experts on Tuesday urged Iran to stop arresting journalists after a wave of detentions they said was a "flagrant" violation of international law, even as Tehran announced a new round of arrests. "The recent wave of arrests of journalists solely for carrying out their professional activities is a flagrant violation of Iran's obligations under international human rights law," four UN experts said in a joint press release.
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