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Mousavi: "Can Repression & Brute Force Solve Iran's Problems?"

Green Voice of Freedom summarises yesterday's meeting between Mir Hossein Mousavi and the reformist Mojahedin of Islamic Revolution party. Khordaad 88 also has a version:

Mousavi said that the Islamic Republic is facing problems “far deeper” than the widespread street protests, and cannot simply be resolved by putting an end to the protests.

“Our [Islamic] system is facing problems and its manifestation is not limited to the protests on the streets. The issues and problems are far deeper than this. One of them is that the state believes that by ending the street protests the protesters’ concerns are [also] resolved.”

The Latest from Iran: Dialogue or Conflict? (9 April)

The former prime minister said during the meeting that all the things that give legitimacy to a state are being “destroyed” in Iran. “Regimes normally use brute force (police, military and security forces) in the end to survive at any cost, but this is happening in our country and this is cause for great thought and attention,” he added.

Mousavi stressed the issue of lies and deceptions in all levels of the state. “The issue of lying has become our main concern and people have an objection towards it,” Mousavi said. “It has created mistrust amongst people towards the very base of this troublesome system and [has created doubts] towards their beliefs. Ethical issues, foreign policy, widespread corruption, etc, these have all created a sense of mistrust towards authorities and the state.”

“Is this problem solvable through repression and using brute force?” Mousavi asked.

During the meeting, the 2009 presidential candidate told the members of the reformist party, “The current situation has totally disrupted the flow of investment into the country because the future has become unpredictable unlike a society like that of Japan’s where the history of investment in certain families is more than two centuries old.”

Mousavi stated that the quick-return of interest [profit] had become the target in Iran because “there is no hope for the future and due to the current condition, no one is seeking to invest in production, in the long-term and in creating long-lasting jobs. Doesn’t the continuation of the current conditions mean more unemployment and poverty?”

Mousavi pointed out that despite the government’s massive spending; Iran was actually far behind in attracting foreign investment: “Is this not a catastrophe?”

On the issue of the current dispute between Ahmadinejad and the Parliament over the government’s proposed subsidy cuts, Mousavi said that the main source of dispute was about the government’s permission to spend around $1 million to buy votes in the rigged June election. Mousavi stated that the sense of mistrust towards the regime was “eating the system and making it void from within.”

According to the popular reformist politician, the misuse of religious and revolutionary values by authorities was playing an important role in portraying an unreal image of Islam, Imam Khomeini, and the Revolution.
Mousavi criticised the violent behaviour of security forces towards people who had recently gathered near the Orumiyeh Lake [in Azerbaijan] protesting the drying of the lakebed as a result of wrong government policies. Mousavi said, “Can all problems be resolved through [increasing] security and militarisation? They want to run the system with the rule of a certain group which is not possible.”

Mir-Hossein Mousavi told those present, that he would even accept the fraudulent results of the 2009 presidential election if the current rulers possessed a “relative efficiency” in running the country: “But we don’t even have this. For instance the government is unable to even carry out an [oil] project in Assaluyeh, and there is a problem in foreign policy every day and the situation is becoming more critical. The nuclear case in the past year is the best example for this.”

Mousavi said that even those currently in power in Iran lack any consensus and asked, “What does this show?”

Once again, Mousavi stressed the importance of the full implementation of the Iranian Constitution as a main demand of the Green Movement. “Many articles of this constitution which guarantee the rights of the people have been forgotten,” Mousavi said. He added:
If these are brought about well enough, an overall consensus will be reached within the movement. The base for any change in society is an idea and this idea has been created in our society and the will for change and amendment has become widespread. The people must be warned that the interests of a few in certain bodies is not allowing for them to easily surrender to the demands of the [Green] Movement and the nation.

On the future of the Green Movement and its activities, the wartime prime minister said, “We must bring about and redefine clear ideas and spread them through resisting and steadfastness and finding ways of working in a more organised way. The regime and state should be told that the least costly way for governing the country is the free activity of groups, media, associations and civil society, not confronting them.”

Mousavi called for more links between the different social groups inside the Green Movement and said that the goal of the movement was to create a better life for everyone, especially more impoverished and vulnerable sectors of society. He defended the rights of workers and teachers and acknowledged their important roles in Iranian life.

Mousavi also urged authorities to return to the Constitution, to remove the current security and military atmosphere in the country, and to open up. “If they do not choose this path, we will be forced to stand firm,” Mousavi said, expressing hope that authorities would return to the path of sanity as soon as possible:
We must stand firm until the issues and problems are resolved. The people have paid a heavy price during this period and they are used to paying such prices because they have great and righteous aspirations. You can see how prisoners have become the champions of the people and how they are welcomed [upon their freedom] and this is a sign of the ineffectiveness of these actions in confronting the [Green] Movement and the people’s demands.

Mousavi concluded with a call for the full usage of the capacity of political parties and an expansion of their activities. He also invited them to issue statements and analyses and to be in constant contact with the people for a “better tomorrow”.

Reader Comments (2)

Speaking as an observer and a person having an indirect stake in the events unfolding (I do not live in Iran, but am a citizen of Iran and have family currently in Iran), I continue to be concerned regarding the nature of the discussions coming from the green movement "leaders"...the wording continues to be rhetorical in nature and lacks tactics. While I am glad to see that Mousavi continues to make statements such as the one above and I applaud is rigor and committment to see change, but how does he plan to do this?

I wonder, and I ask this to the greater EA audience, is there any "sleeper" leaders in Iran, perhaps one who has received little to no press that has not only the courage but the ability to put an actionable plan into place? Is the reason Mousavi and others are not in jail, besides perhaps the notion it would instigate protests beyond what we have seen since June (I am not sure of this myself), is because they are not perceived as a great of a threat as some of the leaders who ARE in jail?

I continue to watch as both a concerned observer, citizen and supporter of the Iranian people.......

April 9, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterBijan

"Is the reason Mousavi and others are not in jail, besides perhaps the notion it would instigate protests beyond what we have seen since June (I am not sure of this myself), is because they are not perceived as a great of a threat as some of the leaders who ARE in jail?"

You make an interesting point, Bijan. I wonder if any of the reformist leaders, former reformist government officials, Mousavi and Karroubi aids and advisors, etc who are in jail now would have been vetted to run as candidates last year? None, right?

April 10, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterCatherine

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