Iran News ...


10/20/09

Iranian Opposition Leader Encourages Followers to Continue Struggle

By Edward Yeranian, VOA, Cairo

Iranian opposition leader, Mir Hossein Moussavi, is encouraging his supporters to continue their struggle, despite the government's control of the media.  

Iran's top opposition leader and erstwhile presidential candidate, Mir Hossein Mousavi, encouraged his supporters to remain steadfast in a message broadcast via the Internet.

Mr. Mousavi remains under a virtual house-arrest and has been prevented from using either government TV or the local press to speak to the Iranian people.

The one-time Iranian prime minister, who claims to have won Iran's disputed June 12th presidential election, has been the victim of a government media blackout, despite sporadic news in the international press about his activities.

Mr. Mousavi told his followers in the video, which appeared on his Facebook website, to continue their "struggle," despite the insurmountable odds, and to use alternative media, such as the internet, to broadcast their message.

 

He says "struggle has become our way of life, and that our movement cannot be stopped. " Making use of the media, he insists, is key to our movement. The incredible thing, he notes, is that we have no media (at our disposal), so we use other tools (such as the internet) to create a vast movement with international outreach."

Mousavi also said his movement would not be defeated by government attempts to asphyxiate it. He said the movement is "a current, made up of the dreams, ideals, and way of life of our people."

He also discussed recent talk of forming a broad coalition of opposition parties, as a solution to the wave of unrest following the disputed June 12th election, which the government claims was won in a landslide by incumbent President Mahmoud Ahmedinejad in a landslide.

Mr. Mousavi warned that the only real solution to the current crisis in Iran is for those in power to start listening to the will of the people:

He says that there can be no global solution to the present crisis in Iran until (those in power) realize that there is a crisis and stop pointing to the majority of people as agitators. They must count everyone in the equation of power, he stressed, and allow the people to determine their own destiny.

Reza Moini, of Reporters Without Borders in Paris, says the Iranian media continues to ignore Mr. Mousavi upon order of the government:

He says Mr. Mousavi is still deprived of most means of communication and Internet sites inside Iran are censored, so this was the first time he was able to address supporters directly to spread his message. Reporters Without Borders, he says, insists he be allowed to speak freely with the Iranian media.  

Moini also complained the Iranian judiciary "continues to hold over 30 journalists in jail, arbitrarily" despite the recent release of several, including Newsweek correspondent Maziar Bihari and veteran journalist Said Hajjarian. "One blogger," he notes, "has been held without charges for over a year."


Full English translation of Mir Hossein Mousavi's remarks in his first video and internet interview:
Source: Mousavi's facebook

Explaining the "National Unity" plan

This phrase has been used in media in different ways and it is good to separate them from each other. In the meeting that I had with the members of the minority fraction (reformist) of the parliament, I discussed the issue of "National Unity". In that discussion my intention to use this phrase was more in a sense of a public will that has been strengthened during the election campaign based on our heritage and old civilization and common national interests and the message of a better future and prosperity and progress of our country, so the issue of "National Unity" was important in that regards; and we all witnessed the enthusiasm that had been created in the country regarding this issue.

I believe that even after the post-election events, this asset (National Unity) should still be preserved and we should try to strengthen it. National Unity is extremely important to all of us and we all must focus on it. In this case the interpretation of Unity, is the unity among all people of all classes; unity between intellectuals, students, different ethnic and cultural groups.

During the election campaign the human chain that connected North of Tehran to South of Tehran was one of the best aspects of National Unity among all classes of people who had participated in that event, and this has created a wave all over the country and according to such a picture the idea of "Green Path of Hope" was shaped.

However besides this case "National Unity" has been used with different meanings and after the recent events that happened in the country which we all are very well aware of them, a number of individuals with different intentions and some with good intentions have been trying to find a way to lower the tension between the political figures by dialogue and discussions. There is a proposal by Ayatollah Hashemi-Rafsanjani; also there were discussions that Ayatollah Mahdavi-Kani also has ideas about this issue and generally different individuals have been commenting regarding this issue. What is important is that I have not commented on this issue yet.

However considering the rumors that are spreading regarding the discussions in this matter, I have a memory from Imam [Khomeini] that I quote; and there is a point in this memory that I will act according to that point. During McFarlane story (Iran-Contra affair), which caused a crisis and people did not know if McFarlane had come to Iran or what had happened, whether he had come to Iran secretly and had returned [to US]. This issue was first reported by a Syrian newspaper and in the debate among the heads of the three branched of the government it had been mentioned that this case would have been drawn into the country and given the sensitivity about the issue of relations to US and talking with US, it would have been apparent that it could have caused a crisis in the country, so the heads of the three branches of the government and I went to Imam [Khomeini] and asked for his advice. When the case was explained to Imam Khomeini on how and why, and with what group this person had come and left, and what was the outcome of his trip and it was also mentioned that this case had been reported by a Lebanese or Syrian newspaper and would have been drown inside the country as well; Imam said: "go and let the people know about this issue, people should be informed" and also discussed this issue a bit. When we were leaving, Imam Khomeini added a sentence that I have always remembered in my mind as a golden and important sentence. He said: "never do such that you won't be able to explain it to people." and I have remembered this in my mind. Therefore if there is going to be any talk, discussion, debate or issue, naturally as a companion of this great movement, I will share it with the people and it won't be such that I cannot defend it. It would be wise that regarding this matter or similar cases, given the incompetence of the domestic media and the fact that they are working against the Green Path of Hope, and that we don't have a conventional media and all of our media have been restricted, people be vigilant on which media is spreading these news by considering their direction and their party affiliation and their possible intensions. This can help us to move in a thoughtful atmosphere that is according to our own values.


Explaining whether you have been contacted or visited regarding this issue 

No, there have been no such discussions. However I am aware of Ayatollah Hashemi-Rafsanajani's proposal that he had mentioned during the Friday Prayer as well as the suggestions that some of the members of the Expediency Council shared with him; and also through media, I am aware of the remarks that are claimed to be made by Ayatollah Mahdavi-Kani and others. Also I sometimes have witnessed that others with good intentions have raised such issues, but there has been no direct contact with me regarding this and there has been no correspondence and no official talks. In general nothing has been done regarding this issue.


In the 13th statement you have mentioned that we must embed our socio-political achievements into our lives and into our struggle. You had a sentence: "we must live the green path of hope." Although this is very elegant phrase, it may come across as ambiguous in some case, can you elaborate on that?

Our nation has started a massive movement and we are involved in it too. Hopefully [if God is willing] I will continue toward this very direction that people are marching on. If we look carefully, early on when these incidents happened in the country, there were discussion on how to move, and what should our response be so that we can benefit from big achievements of the elections and the Islamic revolution and continue it. There were discussions on creation of parties, or fronts, or other groups all within the frameworks of political campaigns inside the country or as they are defined internationally. We thought that none of these can fulfill our goals and purposes. We saw that none of these constructs were coherent with the experiences that we had prior to the election, and of course the [same] experiences that we had together.

In this election, we saw that families, political, religious, artistic, cultural groups, and in general anyone anywhere according to their own methodology and capability helped out and entered the movement. In fact this was a continuation of our discussions earlier that every citizen would 'stand as a campaign headquarters'. An action like that led to a national network. Actually, it was this very phenomenon that was the source of strength for this movement. The movement did not get its power from a political party. This does not mean that parties were not influential, or will not have an affect. No. Parties would always maintain their own standing, and their position is of key importance and will remain a necessity. They must continue with their own activities. However, we thought to continue on this path, and to achieve our goals and ideals under the banner of "advance Iran", and to fulfill people's demands, and achieving the full realization people's rights, we must continue on under something much more inclusive and encompassing [from a single party] specially under the knowledge from the experiences [of unity] prior to the elections. And we did continue in such a manner and we announced it too.

In such a perspective it is unimportant how much every person can contribute, or how they contribute. The important thing is that there will be a national will that would remain. From only one person in one family, to large parties and political groups and fronts with experience, everyone would be able to send help to this massive movement in the framework of their own daily activities. I have always believed that a even a blind person, an old woman, old man, or someone who cannot possibly attend any of political activities, if from the corner of their own homes they send a prayer, we can consider it as an activity inside this network, let alone all the organized activism of large political groups.

Today we stand witness to a unique and exceptional blooming of creativity among our artistic groups. None of these belong to a movement of a party. Instead they belong to a large social network. We have numerous clips, and anthems were created not to mention countless paintings, drawings and cartoons. The extent of the flow of this creativity is not comparable to any period of our history. These are the bulk and the essence of the movement. These are what create the content of dialogues of this huge wave and this massive movement. They guide it and push it forward. This does not happen in a framework of party or any one political front. At times, two or three artists come together, or in larger or smaller groups, on corners of our country and even outside of our country, they have come together to send their help. There are joined by religious groups, religious gatherings, charity organizations and other political groups.

In fact here, the struggle has become a way of life, a life that continues and is unstoppable. It is not the case that you can constrain it at a point. As a result this movement is a movement that cannot be harmed. In an environment of collective dialogue and discussion these movements would be ever more encouraged and push themselves forward. In this regards, the media are of key importance. The labor that people pull in our media is honorable and much appreciated. Here, I emphasize yet again that considering that we do not have any media at all, we must pay more attention to such means and tools [of communication], and benefit more from them. This is a miracle that we have seen during and after the elections, and considering our current situation we must take advantage of such tools. Naturally, we are connecting the individual and the social environments through the media and all the while we are creating a enormous movement with large span, and a long range.

The fact is that this movement does not belong to any one small group, party or political current, neither does it follow a specific detail oriented struggle nor is it a fully oppositional movement. This movement is one that is a current that is blended into dreams, ideals, and style of lives of our own people. That is why it is very sustainable.

We want get inspiration from readings of Quron that say: "Make your own homes a Kaaba" (Kaaba: All Muslims around the world face the Kaaba during prayers, no matter where they are.) It must be that people in referring to this expansive social network, in their own large and small groups, each contribute their own share to the movement, so that the movement can maintain shape and continue.

How can we find a solution to the crisis?

Until we accept that we have a problem and are in a crisis, until the larger group of majority of people is labeled as disturbance, until people are not counted in the equations [of power] and until the rights of people to determine their own destinies is not accepted, we can not find a universal solution to our problem.

For this reason our national unity, as I referred to it in second meaning that I introduced earlier, which contains the activities, the groups and crowds of people. In this regards that these gatherings are with good intentions I think it is necessary that in every movement people be respected, that majority is not alienated. People are together, even those of them who have different views, it is us who analyze them and impose the differences. Unfortunately we separate the people from on another. The maxim here is that people should be respected. Their perspectives and ideas should be accepted. We must return to these fundamental rules. We must rely on the fundamental that we must return to the constitution and we must insist on fundamental that: "governance of people over their own destinies." Only then we can easily find a solution to this problem.

... Payvand News - 03/25/16 ... --



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