Zahra Rahnavard, wife of opposition presidential candidate Mir Hossein Mousavi, today reassured Iranians that she had not been arrested, but called on the regime to release those who had, AFP reports. In a statement on her husband’s website, she condemned the crackdown, saying it was “as if martial law has been imposed.” But she said “nationalism and the blood of the martyrs demand” that she continue protesting.
Rahnavard has been central both to her husband’s campaign and to the fight following the election. She is the first woman to be chancellor of a university in Iran since the 1979 revolution. She’s also a well known sculptor, with pieces dotting Tehran’s squares. Supporters hope she’ll be a groundbreaking first lady for Iran. “I am not Michelle Obama,” she said recently. “I am Zahra Rahnavard. But I do respect all women activists.”