Press TV - Amid growing dissension among Iran's ruling elite over the president's conduct, former presidential candidate Mir-Hossein Mousavi says the post-vote crisis is the product of undervaluing the will of the people. Mousavi, who is described by some as a symbol of opposition, said Monday that the only way to end the disquiet in Iran is to return to the values that the Islamic Republic was based upon some 30 years ago.
Mir-Hossein Mousavi believes detentions will not halt what he calls the pro-freedom movement of the nation.
The crisis that Mousavi spoke of in a meeting with a group of intellectuals and
activists was sparked after the presidential election in June in which the
incumbent, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, was re-elected with almost two-thirds of the
Mousavi and Mehdi Karroubi, another defeated candidate, claim that widespread ballot fraud in favor of Ahmadinejad had led to his victory.
Their supporters, consequently, took to the streets, demanding the annulment of the election in support of reform within the establishment.
Mousavi on Monday said the continuation of the current crisis would damage the political establishment as well as the revolution, the Iranian Labor News Agency (ILNA) reported.
"People made the (1979 Islamic) Revolution for freedom. Where is that freedom now? This situation will destroy everyone and will harm the system," he said.
During the meeting, he also urged authorities to give the nod to his request to hold a mourning ceremony for those killed in the post-election protests.
"The pro-reform path will continue," said Iran's last prime minister. "The establishment should respect the Constitution and let us gather to commemorate our killed loved ones on Thursday."
Memorial poster for Yaghoub Barvayeh setup by his friends and media colleagues
University student Yaghoub was one of the protesters killed in Tehran on June 25. According to the poster, Yaghoub was shot by Basij forces from the top of Lolagar mosque and died in Loghman hospital.
Mousavi and Karroubi, in a letter to the Interior Ministry, assured that the
ceremony, planned to be held on Thursday at central Tehran's Grand Mosalla -- a
prayer location where tens of thousands can gather -- would be a silent one.
His remarks come as Iran's president has come under fire over his recent decisions in the appointment and dismissal of a high-ranking official.
Ahmadinejad's choice for first vice president, Esfandiar Rahim-Mashaei, unleashed a torrent of criticism from his allies and critics. The weeklong dispute was tamed only after the intervention of Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei in the issue, which led to the reversal of the president's appointment.
On Sunday, the president, who secured some 24 million votes according to official figures, dismissed Intelligence Minister Gholam-Hossein Mohseni-Ejei who had opposed the appointment of Rahim-Mashaei.
The resignation of his Culture Minister Mohammad-Hassan Saffar-Harandi on Monday, even though has not yet been accepted, raised fears that the Ahmadinejad administration, in its last 7 days in office, would need a fresh vote of confidence from the parliament.
The government has also come under fire over its detention of those who protested against the election results and over the death of two protesters while in custody.
Judiciary Chief Ayatollah Mahmoud Hashemi Shahroudi on Monday called on pertinent officials to decide within a week the fate of those protesters who remain imprisoned.
On the issue, Mousavi said detentions would not be able to sap the people's will for freedom.
"The killings and arrests are a catastrophe. The people will not forgive those behind such crimes," he said. "The more they arrest people, the bigger this movement becomes."
"The country of 70 million cannot become a prison for all of them," he concluded.
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