Mousavi picks harsh words

2010/02/28

Published in German daily newspaper “Tageszeitung” on 28 February 2010
Source (German): http://www.taz.de/1/politik/asien/artikel/1/mussawi-waehlt-harte-worte/
English translation kindly provided by Josh Manning
edited by germantoenglish

By Bahman Nirumand

The opposition leader declared in an interview that those in power are a “dangerous sect”. However, despite the situation, he continues to aim at the goal of reform

Iran’s opposition leader Mir Hossein Moussavi declared in a widely observed interview on his website “Kalameh” that the rulers are a “dangerous sect”. By ignoring Islamic principles and the rights of the people, they have led the country into catastrophe. In order to see how isolated they are, the rulers should allow the “Green Movement of Hope” to demonstrate freely, and should admit that the country is in a deep crisis that needs fundamental solutions, said Moussavi on Saturday.

On February 11th, the anniversary of the Revolution, the regime had deployed in Teheran tens of thousand of Basij militia, police, and Revolutionary Guards to protect the official celebration and prevent opposition demonstrations. Additionally, numerous people from outside were brought into the capital to take part in the official demonstration. This was done to develop the view that the regime has broad support from the people.

Although the opposition was successful in organizing rallies at different quarters of the city, the participation was small in comparison to earlier demonstrations, which raised the question as to whether past strategies are still useful. In addition, Moussavi reckoned that it was not the opposition, but the regime that has to accept a defeat on February 11. A country that must protect itself with a considerable force against its own people cannot be proud of a manipulated demonstration. The strategy to demonstrate on days of celebration or mourning is only one out of many strategies to resist the regime. “We must make clear our goals to the population, particularly to the lower strata of the society” said Moussavi. “Millions of fellow citizens suffer from extreme censorship, restrictions of freedoms and rights, adventurous foreign policies, economic ruin, and the spreading of lies and immorality. They want change and are no longer willing to abide by the tyranny of a handful of ignorant rulers.”

Mousavi reiterated that the Green Movement demands change within the framework of the constitution. Although there are a few people who wanted to go beyond this framework, the movement all in all has never expressed demands that go beyond the limit of existing constitution.

According to Moussavi, the movement does not demand anything but reforms, but does not necessarily wish to be the executing force to implement them. It would be simpler and required fewer sacrifices if the state tackled these reforms. He pointed out: “I would like to emphasize clearly and openly that every step the government takes towards reform would neither be considered by us as a sign of weakness, nor would we disesteem them for it”.

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