The niece of Iran’s Supreme Leader was arrested for speaking out on behalf of the widow of the country’s late Shah, who was ousted in the 1979 Islamic Revolution
The niece of Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei was arrested on Thursday after praising the former Shah’s wife.
Farideh Moradkhani, the daughter of Khamenei’s sister, was on her way home in the Iranian capital, Tehran, when she was arrested. Her arrest was later confirmed by her brother Mahmoud, who lives in exile in France.
#BREAK Farideh Moradkhani, a human rights activist and Ali Khamenei’s niece (his sister’s daughter), was arrested and transferred to Evin prison.
Her father (Khamenei’s brother-in-law), a longtime critic of the Islamic Republic, was also sentenced to nine years in prison in the 1990s. pic.twitter.com/x89EfWLlSY
— Iran International English (@IranIntl_En) January 16, 2022
Moradkhani had attended a virtual birthday celebration in October, praising Farah Pahlavi, the widow of Mohammad Reza Pahlavi, Iran’s monarch until he was overthrown in the 1979 Iranian revolution.
Shortly after the fall of the autocrat, the country passed into theocratic rule.
Farah Pahlavi also lives in France.
Khamenei’s niece reportedly addressed Farah Pahlavi as “Dear Queen” and urged her to return to Iran.
According to the Human Rights Activists News Agency, security forces searched Moradkhani’s home after her arrest and confiscated her belongings [HRANA]. Moradkhani is reportedly being held in Tehran’s notorious Evin prison.
Monarchism is illegal in Iran and supporters of the former Shah face jail time.