Iran: Moderate political leaders target of video game

Image from the video game Return of Mokhtar The player is taking aim at former presidential candidate Mehdi Karrubi

An Iranian video game has players turning their virtual guns against the country's moderate political leaders and their families, it appears.

The game Return of Mokhtar uses the likeness of Mir-Hoseyn Musavi and Mehdi Karrubi - who both ran for the presidency in the disputed 2009 election - as kill targets in the video game. Musavi and Karrubi lost the election to Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and have been under house arrest since 2011.

Players can move through corridors and fire at images of Karrubi, Musavi, his wife Zahra Rahnavard and other senior figures such as former President Mohammad Khatami.

The website Honar-e Nab-e Eslami (Pure Islamic Art), which launched the game, is known for producing such content. Another programme, called Shooting the Apostate allows users to digitally fire at Germany-based Iranian rap singer Shahin Najafi. He often sings on social issues and mocks extremists.

The game has sparked debate on social media, but there are conflicting reports over whether it is still accessible. At least one Iranian news website says the blogger who initially published it had taken it down.

Image from the video game Return of Mokhtar Here Mir-Hoseyn Musavi (left) is seen as one of the video game's targets

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