An Iranian opposition leader who has been under house arrest since 2011 has begun a hunger strike over his detention.

A website associated with Mahdi Karroubi announced Wednesday that the 79-year-old cleric has stopped eating and is only taking heart medication.

The website quoted his wife, Fatemah Karroubi, as saying he wants a public trial and for security forces to vacate his home.

Karroubi suffers from heart disease and has been hospitalized previously while detained.

Karroubi is a reformist. He and Mir Hossein Mousavi, another opposition leader, were put under house arrest in 2011 as Arab Spring protests swept the Middle East. Both stood as presidential candidates in the 2009 disputed re-election of hard-line President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. Both alleged widespread fraud in the vote.