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Iran: Academy of Arts Members Criticize Modification of Charter by Ahmadinejad to Remove Mousavi as President

A number of members of the Iranian Academy of Arts (IAA) have criticized the government's decision to change an article in the IAA charter. The Iranian president is empowered to personally appoint the IAA director, based on the modification in article 8 of the IAA charter, the government news website Dolat recently announced, Mehr News Agency reported from Tehran.


Source: Mousavi's facebook

Ahmadinejad in an unprecedented act, as the head of the Revolutionary Cultural Council, by issuing a new memo changed the existing constitution of the Academy of Arts so that it would lay the grounds for dismissing Mir Hossein Mousavi as the president of the Academy.

According to this new amendment the president of the Academy would be appointed directly by Ahmadinejad even without any consultation with the members of the Academy! During Khatami's administration it was approved that the president of the Academy would be elected by the permanent members of Academy's General Assembly and the president as the head of the Revolutionary Cultural Court would approve the nominee as the president of the Academy of Arts.

The new amendment was clearly issued with the aim of dismissing Mir Hossein Mousavi as the president of the Academy of Arts by Ahmadinejad.

Mir Hossein Mousavi has been elected as the head of the Academy of Arts by the General Assembly for his great performance since it was founded about ten years ago. Although there are many speculations that Mousavi was going to resign as the president of the Academy of Arts before the end of his current term so that he would not need to get an "approval" (according to the old amendment) from Ahmadinejad for the new term, but the latest act by Ahmadinejad shows his desperation and determination in isolating Mir Hossein Mousavi from the social and political scene of the country even by entering politics into arts!

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According to the former article, the director was selected by the IAA General Assembly from among three nominees.

"This is a critical situation and I don't what will happen to the IAA from now on," actor and IAA member Mahmud Azizi told the Persian service of ISNA on Saturday.

"The establishment of the IAA was one of the best events of our society... neither friend nor foe can deny the achievements of this institution over the past decade," he added.

Another member described the government's decision as illegal.

"Undoubtedly, many prominent IAA members would resign if a director is imposed upon the academy and then it loses its international prestige as a consequence," painter Habib Ayatollahi said.

"We don't feel any sense of satisfaction that culture is becoming political," filmmaker Majid Majidi said in a meeting at the IAA on Thursday.

"The independence of the IAA must be maintained and the government must not intervene in the domestic affairs of the academy," he noted.

"We expected the government to inform us of its plan prior to making any decision to make a change (in the IAA charter)," IAA member Ali Motazeri said.

No comment has yet been made by IAA director Mir Hossein Mousavi, President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's major rival in the 12 June presidential election.

Mousavi has held the position since 1998 when the academy was established by the Supreme Cultural Revolution Council headed by former president Seyyed Mohammad Khatami.

The decision to modify the IAA charter is described by analysts as a means of respectful dismissal.

However, it is rumored that Mousavi intends to resign before receiving any official mandate from Ahmadinejad.

Similar modifications have been made in the charters of the Iranian Academy of Sciences, the Iranian Academy of Medical Sciences, and the Iranian Academy of Persian Language and Literature.


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