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Iran's Opposition Leader Mousavi Stripped of Academy of Art's Post

Source: Radio Zamaneh

Iranian opposition leader Mir Hossein Mousavi was dismissed on Tuesday from his government post as the head of the Academy of Arts. Supreme Council of Cultural Revolution, headed by Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, fired Mir Hossein Mousavi in their Tuesday meeting. Mahmoud Ahmadinejad interrupted his trip to Shiraz in order to attend the meeting and later returned to Shiraz.

A group photo of Academy of Arts members, November 2009

According to Council member Mohammad Mohammadian, the Council has chosen the poet, Ali Moalem Damghani as the new head of the Academy of Arts.

The Academy of Arts had been run by Mir Hossein Mousavi since its establishment in 1999.

Mir Hossein Mousavi was the chief opponent of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in the June presidential election. The re-election of Ahmadinejad in the elections was challenged by all the other candidates and in the past six months people have staged widespread protests against the alleged fraud that brought Ahmadinejad back to power.

Despite repeated warnings from the Supreme Leader, the disputing candidates of the elections, Mir Hossein Mousavi and Mehdi Karroubi have refused to back down on their accusations regarding ballot fraud.

Mousavi's dismissal has been the most concrete measure taken so far against the opposition leader by the government.

Following replacement of Mir Hossein Mousavi as the head of the Art Institution with an ally of Ahmadinejad, Mousavi in a message thanked the members and staff of the Art Institution and the Art community and said farewell. The text of his message is as follows:

In the name of almighty God


Now that the Council of Cultural Revolution (a body chaired by Ahmadinejad) appointed a new replacement to manage the affairs of the Art Institution, I would like to thank all the artists, academics and scholars who collaborated with the Art Institution in previous years.

Particularly, I cannot forget the kindness and cooperation of the respected intellectuals of the Art Institution; during the past eleven years, I have always learned from their art, ethics and high culture and the vote they gave me, constantly inspired me in making policies and managing the Art Institution.

I hope future generations honor the value of this social achievement that gained the confidence of the great art society of the country and try to strengthen it. Hereby I should also thank all the gracious staff and colleagues of the Art Institution from all ranks as they are the main founders and pioneers of this institution.

Wednesday, December-23-09
Mir Hossein Mousavi

... Payvand News - 12/23/09 ... --

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