Opposition leader Mir-Hossein Mousavi in an interview marking the Islamic revolution’s 31st anniversary: ‘the revolution failed to abolish dictatorship in Iran’.
Published: february 07, 2010; Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center.
In a special interview granted last week by opposition leader Mir-Hossein Mousavi to the reformist website Kalemeh for the 31st anniversary of the Islamic revolution, Mousavi said that the revolution was unable to rid Iran of dictatorship.
Mousavi noted that during the first years of the revolution, most Iranians were positive that it had managed to remove all structures that could lead to oppression and dictatorship. He used to believe that as well, but now he does not think so. The elements and foundations that may lead to dictatorship can once again be seen in Iran, and the signs of resistance to the return of the dictatorship have reappeared as well. That resistance, said Mousavi, is an important legacy of the Islamic revolution. The people’s refusal to accept the lies, forgery, and corruption to which we are now witness clearly reflects that legacy. The limitations imposed on the press, the mass arrests and merciless killing of protesters on the streets who peacefully fight for their rights—all that is an indication that the roots of oppression and dictatorship from the time of the royalist regime still exist. The Iranian people seek liberty and justice, knowing that arrests and executions for political ends are against the law and the Iranian constitution.
Referring to a statement made by Friday prayer leader Ayatollah Ahmad Jannati who in his last sermon had expressed approval of the execution of two opposition activists the week before last, Mousavi said that Jannati didn’t care whether the sentenced young men had had anything to do with the election affair. For him, their execution was only meant to scare the public. He doesn’t know that it was the blood of the martyrs that put an end to the Shah’s regime.
Mousavi added that, in light of the continuing oppression, he believed that the revolution did not attain its objectives. The revolution was accomplished by effort, and should the people back down from the fight for their rights, the dictatorship will only become worse than it was prior to the revolution, since dictatorship in the name of religion is the worst kind of dictatorship.
Mousavi also noted that he lost all faith in the juridical system. A judiciary which prosecutes those who seek freedom has drifted away from the goals of the revolution. Prisons are filled with the pure children of the nation, including students and lecturers, while the true criminals are outside the prison walls. Instead of looking for the real spies, honorable and faithful people are put to trial. “I am ashamed of not being one of the detainees”, said Mousavi.
Regarding the opposition demonstrations, Mousavi said that it was the people’s right to hold peaceful demonstrations and rallies. Iranians have no resentment for the security forces and the Basij, and clashes only happen when security forces resort to force to suppress the peaceful rallies. He called on the security forces to show mercy and kindness for civilians, and on supporters of the Green Movement not to single themselves out from the rest of the people. The Green Movement started with the people and it belongs to the people, Mousavi said. The beliefs and norms of the society as a whole must be respected, but one must not lose sight of the final objective: creating an advanced, independent, free, and united Iran. That goal requires the cooperation of all sections of Iranian society (Kalemeh, February 2).
Reformist opposition calls on Iranians to take part in processions ahead of Islamic revolution day; Revolutionary Guards threaten force to quell demonstrations.
Last week, the two reformist opposition leaders Mir-Hossein Mousavi and Mehdi Karoubi called on their supporters to take to the streets and participate in the Islamic revolution anniversary processions, to be marked on February 11.
In a meeting the two leaders held the weekend before last, both condemned the execution of two opposition activists the week before last, claiming that they had been in no way involved in the riots which broke out in Iran following the presidential elections, and that they had been arrested even before the elections. They said that the executions were meant to cause panic among Iranians ahead of the revolution day rallies. They also issued a call to release political prisoners, to lift the restrictions imposed on the media, and to hold free elections (Rah-e Sabz, January 30).
Expediency Discernment Council chairman Ayatollah Ali-Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani also called on Iranian citizens to take part in the February 11 rallies. He called on all political factions to turn the rallies into a demonstration of political unity, warning that any conflicts or clashes on Revolution Day would serve the interests of Iran’s enemies. The revolution anniversary has always been a symbol of the people’s unity and loyalty to the Islamic republic, Rafsanjani said (various news agencies, January 30).
Even as the two opposition leaders called on their supporters to join the Revolution Day rallies, last weekend a Revolutionary Guards senior commander warned opposition activists not to take advantage of the Revolution Day for disrupting public order. Hossein Hamedani, the Revolutionary Guards chief in Tehran Province, said that the security forces would treat anyone who chooses to protest on that day as a foreign agent rather than part of the Iranian people. At a press conference in which he presented the deployment of the Revolutionary Guards in Tehran Province for the Revolution Day events, Hamedani said that the Revolutionary Guards would not allow the reformist opposition to demonstrate during the Revolution Day events. Revolution Day is not a day for protesting against the government and its policy but rather a day of national unity. According to Hamedani, the security forces would not allow the expression of any voice, color, or movement which do not reflect the Iranian people and the Islamic revolution, and will use force against anyone attempting to spark riots on that day (ISNA, January 30).
Majles speaker Ali Larijani also warned against turning the Revolution Day rallies into a venue for political bickering. He said that the Revolution Day must become a symbol of unity against foreigners and increase the strength of the Iranian people in its stand against the schemes of the US and Israel (ILNA, February 2).
Conservative Majles member Mohammad Javad Abtahi also addressed the expected participation of reformist opposition activists in the Revolution Day rallies. In an interview granted to the Asr-e Iran website, Abtahi said that there was no reason why the reformist opposition leaders and their supporters should not take part in the Revolution Day rallies, provided they did not use them for twisting the slogans of the revolution and chanting slogans contradictory to the spirit of the revolution (Asr-e Iran, February 1).
Meanwhile, the reformist website Emrouz reported last week (February 2) that security forces had massively deployed across Tehran. According to the website, the authorities act to prevent in advance any attempts by opposition elements to disturb public order on Revolution Day by creating deterrence, performing preventive arrests, carrying out sentences against those arrested in the previous riots, and extensive propaganda against the reformist opposition on official and pro-government media.