Key Iranian opposition leader Mir Hossein Mousavi said today that Iran is in "serious crisis" and called for the immediate release of supporters arrested after the June presidential vote. In a statement appearing on his website, Kaleme, he also said that "harsh remarks" by the government risk creating an "internal uprising." He cited words of the founder of Iran's 1979 Islamic Revolution, Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini: "Kill us, we will become stronger."
Authorities have arrested at least 20 pro-reform figures, including three senior advisers to Mousavi, his brother-in-law, and a sister of Iranian Nobel Peace Prize winner Shirin Ebadi.
"An order to execute, murder, and imprison [opposition leaders] ...won't resolve the problem."
Mousavi's statement comes after a representative of Supreme
Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said on December 29 that opposition leaders were
"enemies of God" who should be executed.
Mousavi said he is not afraid to die in defense of the "people's demands" and that "arresting or killing Mousavi, [another opposition leader Mehdi] Karrubi...will not calm the situation."
"I explicitly and clearly state that an order to execute, murder, and imprison [opposition leaders]...won't resolve the problem," Mousavi said. "I'm not afraid to be one of the martyrs people have offered in the struggle for their just demands."
He said the government was making more mistakes by resorting to violence and killings, and that it must accept the people's rights to hold peaceful demonstrations.
The opposition leader condemned the violence used by police and security forces against protesters, which led to the death of at least eight demonstrators, including one of Mousavi's nephews, Ali Mousavi, on December 27.
Reports say the nephew was buried December 30 in a hastily organized ceremony that was attended by the opposition leader and other family members. Authorities had taken the body from the hospital earlier in the week in what was seen as an attempt to prevent the funeral from turning into another pro-opposition protest.
Today's statement is the first from Mousavi since the latest clashes in Iran's continuing struggle over President Mahmud Ahmadinejad's election to a second term. The opposition accuses the government of massively rigging the poll.
compiled from agency reports
Mir Hossein Mousavi in his first statement after the tragedies
of Ashura '09, while strongly criticizing the brutal confrontations of the
government's forces against the mourning nation of Iran, offers his five stage
solution for a resolution to the current critical situation.
While considering people's protests on the days of Ashura and Tasua (one of the holiest religious holidays) spontaneous, in his five stage solution, he emphasizes on the administration, the parliament and the judiciary accepting direct responsibility in front of the nation, legislating a transparent law for elections that can create trust in the public, releasing the political prisoners and restoring their dignity and honour, recognizing freedom of press, media, and the people's right of having legal demonstrations.
Without singling out the martyrdom of his own nephew in the recent events, Mousavi reiterates that he has no fear of becoming one of the martyrs who lost their lives in their quest for their religiously and nationally legitimate demands since the election and adds that his blood is not redder than those martyred. He emphasizes that by ordering the execution, murder or imprisonment of Karoubi, Mousavi, and those similar to them the problem will not be solved.
The leader of the Green movement in this statement considers the people's protests on this year's Ashura and Tasua spontaneous and strongly criticizes the brutal confrontations of the government's forces against the mourning nation of Iran.
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