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Iran Document: Mousavi and Karroubi on the Revolution "Living is Not Only Staying Alive"

Tuesday's statement by Mir Hossein Mousavi and Mehdi Karroubi on the anniversary of the 1979 Islamic Revolution:

We are on the eve of the 32th anniversary of the Islamic Revolution of Iran, a revolution that was a glorious reflection of people determining their own density. Understanding and recognizing this great and significant historic event is very important for each and every one of Iranians: maybe because understating the historical identity of any nation is influential in determining the future path of that nation, maybe because these days [people] ask themselves how correct was the path that was taken [in the past], or maybe because today more than any other time we are witnessing the efforts determined to distort this history.

What we witnessed during those days was not only a transfer of political power. It was rather the start of a new discourse and the end of an old one: an old discourse that assumed it could survive by shutting down all paths to gradual reform in the government and society; by relying on the foreign governments supported coup d'état and the negligence of those devoted to this land, by imprisoning great numbers of freedom-seekers, by imposing censorship on media; by making the power monger allies of the regime rich from oil revenue, by getting armed to the teeth with all sorts of weapons, by utilizing a loud propaganda machine, by creating the illusion of being influential in the affairs of the region and world, by taking the opposition and critics for granted and only considering themselves and their allies; by imagining their power as a splendid symbol of the divine authority while it was not supported by the people.

They knew that other nations had to take a long path in order to achieve freedom, justice, independence and prosperity and that trying to achieve a society that is blessed with these is the very definition of living. So when they found their demands in the views of a strong leader like Imam Khomeini, who was determined in this path, they joined him and prevailed to end oppression and tyranny. Given the past experiences, from the very next day after the Revolution, women and men, young and old, all had concerns in their hearts on how to guard and protect this great achievement from another coup, military attack, and most important of all, diversions from the principles of the Islamic Revolution that would break this young establishment.

The lessons that were learned from this event and the years followed, for many times made our people demonstrate their will to prevent any diversion in the path that could have taken them to their goals. The widespread participation in defending the homeland against the hostile enemy (in the Iran-Iraq war), impressive efforts to achieve economic prosperity, efforts to have extensive reforms in various areas, and wise participation in elections are the reflection of our people's honour for the national responsibility that puts our people on the forefront of the intellectual and social developments of the region in the past few decades.

The new discourse had to make itself compatible with new demands and preserve its flow with continuous monitoring against the reemergence of tyranny and magisterial relations. We remember that the main concern of the Assembly of Constitution Experts was to find ways that could prevent the emergence of any form of tyranny, autocracy and dictatorship. When the constitution was written...people were chanting "Equality, Justice, [Imam] Ali's just State" on the streets.

According to The Saffein Battle by Nasr-Ebn-Mazahem, which might be the oldest narrative-historic book about Saffein war, after Imam Ali established his government in Kufa (Iraq), he had a trip to the areas where Persians were living near Kufa and in a town asked people about Persian kings. The person with most seniority in that town responded: "In the traditions of Persian kings, there were some things for the benefit of the people and some things for the benefit of the king, until Khosro-Parviz (one of the Persian kings) came to power and eliminated anything that was for the benefit of the people and kept all that were for the benefit of the king and this led to demise of his kingdom."

This narrative precisely describes the psychological and political atmosphere of the country in the first decade after the Revolution, regardless of the flaws and obstinacies that affects any Revolution: the goal of the people who participated in the Revolution was to eliminate these kinds of traditions by following Imam Ali's just governing.

Isn't it painful that after more than thirty years since the revolution, people's concern is once again dealing with the reemergence of the same magisterial relations and this time in the name of the religion? We are in a situation that the people's rights which have been described in the Constitution and were the values of the Revolution are being violated. The third chapter of the constitution, in which the rights of the nation are stated, has become a footnote and whatever is to the benefit of the rulers has been executed in an exaggerated manner and in many folds. Unquestioning obedience before power has become divine and godly, and not questioning the ruling power has become valued; and with ridiculous comparisons, any criticising and objecting voice has been accused of being an agent and ally of foreigners and Zionism and has been accused of infidelity....Today the country's political scene is nothing short but the danger of the recreation of magisterial relations and hereditary government. [Ed's Note: This is an implicit comparison with the rule of the Shah.]

Certainly the [Presidential] election of the year '88 (2009) was a sign of this sense of the public responsibility before these dangers. The people who were fearful, the people who were disappointed at the incompetency of the country's management system, the people who were tired of lies, the people who felt that for the country's development more extensive and more fundamental transformations are needed, came to the scene. Perhaps many who had not been participating in any election for years broke their silence this time, and perhaps many who surpassed the routine political competitions became united to create a great change.

It is a pity that what happened to the result of the election and what happened after the semi-coup by the totalitarians harmed the fundamental right of the nation to determine its own destiny. However, the arrests of protestors, beating them on streets, killing many of the youths, women and men on streets and in prisons, the disasters of [the attack on Tehran] University's dormitory and Kahrizak [Prison], the attacks on homes and offices of Maraje (senior religious figures), the holding of shameful carnivals and parades to create fear, the constant struggle to divert public's attention toward unimportant issues and diversions, the unethical treatment of the families of the martyrs and [political] prisoners, and the announcement of the annihilation of the Green Movement in repeated occasions: none has managed to save the authoritarians from the great challenge of the lack of public's trust, just as none has managed to make people forget their rightful demand of achieving the citizenship rights asserted in the constitution.

And we don't believe it would take long before those who are truly concerned about the national interests and Islamic values stand alongside the entire nation (or as the totalitarians call them, "dirt and dust") and separate their line from that of the power-mongers, the violators of people's rights, and the greedy [taker] of the nation's resources. We especially believe that at the end, Basij and the Islamic Republic's Revolutionary Guards and the armed forces will not leave their nation alone.

In the recent years and especially the past two years, a new discourse was born and nothing can stop its growth: a discourse that does not tolerate corruption and, with the promise of bringing oil [revenue] to the people's table, does not increase the price of bread, fuel, electricity and gas many-fold overnight; a discourse that believes in protecting the country's labour force and does not ruin national resources and products by handing the national market to foreign imports; a discourse that wants dignity for workers and employers, not humility; a discourse that considers addiction, theft, and divorce the results of the 30% unemployment rate of youth and therefore does not tackle the problem of crimes and offences by establishing gallows and historic brutality and, with the excuse of crime and betrayal of a small group, start a new era of repentance, getting forced confessions and torturing in the prisons...; a discourse that is not afraid of the people's vote and is not terrified of referring to the Constitution; a discourse that, not in slogans and Machiavellian form, but rather in its actions for Islamic unity and closeness of Islamic sections, does not repel millions of Iranian citizens from their own rights for being Sunni, Darvish, Ahle-Hagh or others.

Yes, a new discourse is born today: A discourse that those who were martyred for its values are its leaders and those who were imprisoned for its values are its flag bearers; a discourse that condemns violence and pursues change through peaceful means; a discourse that responds to lies, false accusations, and insults with truth, honesty and good manners; a discourse that does not have hopes in [the outcome of] the secret games of the international powers and considers the clear national solution as the only path toward reforms; a discourse that does not follow the ideology of "Us vs Them" but rather tries to turn "Them" into "Us"; a discourse that recognises all voices and does not see the national unity in absolute silence but rather sees it in relying on the collective rationality; a discourse that does not consider the people as outsiders when it comes to what is happening in the country but rather tries to spread awareness among all layers of the society and to every corner of this land; a discourse that by empowering social networks brings people together and expands the civil atmosphere; a discourse that has become a role model for many other freedom-seeking movements; a discourse that criticises past mistakes but does not deny its clear achievements; a discourse that does not see justice in charity-based economics but rather in providing equal opportunities and empowering the disadvantaged; a discourse that, instead of spreading hatred and retribution among the poor and rich, rural and urban, ethnic groups and different religions, promotes tolerance, understanding and mercy; a discourse that tries to end the era of empowering thugs and instead is after establishing an era in which those qualified are empowered, so that in light of prosperity and growth of talents lay the grounds for the progress of this land to a stature that it deserves; a discourse that is not after finding heroic saviours but rather wants every Iranian to play a role in saving his or her country; a discourse that leaders are as many as those who believe; a discourse that considers preserving the system is preserving the values on which the system was established, not preserving the individuals in power; a discourse that believes circulation of power, accountability in front of the people, and equality in front of the law are the assurance for having a healthy [society] and foundations for progress; a discourse that believes honouring [both] "Islam" and "Republic" pillars of the system, as well as having democracy in all affairs of the country, are the only way to guide the people to prosperity; a discourse in which personal decisions and interests are replaced with collective wisdom; a discourse that believes in a God that wants human dignity and follows the path of hope through seeking-justice, good deeds, patience and perseverance and tjat has faith that good will prevail and evil will fail.

Today by creating a concern that without its existence the religion will be destroyed and by repeatedly warning about this [so-called] danger, the government tries to mobilise and unite the religious layers [of the society] behind itself; while in fact what has most damaged the religious atmosphere in the society is the oppressive and anti-religion actions of the government. The foundations of all divine religions are based on human nature, and if Islam has lasted after 14 centuries, it is because it has strong intrinsic roots, so much so that even the attack of Mongols and the actions of Pahlavi the first could not destroy it. This religion has taught us not to bow to oppressive individuals, for if we do so, we will be deprived of God's help: " And Incline not Toward Those who do wrong Lest the Fire touch you, and ye warned no Protecting Against friends Allah, and ye Afterward Would not be Helped. "(The Holy Quran, Sura: Hud, Verse: 113th)

On the eve of the 32nd anniversary of the Islamic Revolution, we, as two humble companions, praise you, the countless messengers of this new discourse; and we pray to the almighty God to make all of us supporters of the oppressed and enemies of the oppressor.

Victory comes only from God, the Mighty the Wise

Mir Hossein Mousavi and Mehdi Karroubi

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