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04/24/11

Iran: Opposition Couple Mousavi and Rahnavard, Under House Arrest, Display Excellent Morale

By Fereshteh Ghazi, Rooz Online

In an exclusive conversation with RoozOnline, the husband of Mir-Hossein Mousavi’s sister, Mir-Hassan Habibi Mousavi, said that based on a telephone conversation with the leader of the Green Movement and his wife Zahra Rahnavard, the two displayed “excellent morale” while still being kept under house arrest.

Mir Hossein Mousavi and Zahra Rahnavard
Mir Hossein Mousavi and Zahra Rahnavard

He said the last time Mousavi and his wife were seen in public was during the burial ceremony for Mousavi’s father, who died on March 30, 2011. Mir-Hassan Habibi Mousavi’s son was killed in December 2009 during a public protest over the disputed 2009 presidential election. He himself had been beaten and arrested during the burial ceremony of Mousavi’s father.

“Mr. Mousavi and his wife Zahra Rahnavard called yesterday (Monday) and both spoke with us,” Habibi Mousavi said, adding the conversation was limited to health and generalities about their sister and family members. He said their morale was excellent: “The morale of both of them is excellent and as far as we know they are in good health.”

Speaking about their condition, he said it remained the same as before and that as far as he knew they were in their own house.

Prior to this, Khadijeh Mousavi Khamene, Mir-Hossein Mousavi’s sister had told RoozOnline that her brother and his wife enjoyed good morale: “The engineer (i.e., Mousavi) is on the right path and has faith in God. When a person knows that what he is doing is right, pain and hardship become easier to tolerate, and God helps too.”

Mir Hossein Musavi and Zahra Rahnavard holding hands
Mir Hossein Musavi and Zahra Rahnavard holding hands
June 2009

Despite the accusations that allies of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and the leader of the Islamic Republic of Iran have raised against Mousavi who is held under house arrest with his wife, no court hearings or trials have been held or are known to be scheduled to look into these allegations. Both disappeared and were reportedly put under house arrest which for all practical purposes completely cut off their access to the outside world on February 14 this year. Since his house arrest, only his sister is reported to have seen him when she was allowed to visit him briefly after the death of their father last month, amid heavy presence of security agents. Mousavi and his wife were seen in public during the burial ceremony of Mousavi’s father, in which they participated for a half hour and were cordoned off by security agents. According to Kalameh website, during Mousavi’s presence at the burial site, he could be seen repeating only one word: “Patience, patience and more patience”. The report added that while Mousavi was subjected to ugly behavior by the agents around him, he remained calm and advised those present to be “perseverant, calm and have patience.”

A Message from the Leader Through an Aide

While some individuals who had sent condolence messages to Mousavi regarding his father’s death were harshly criticized and put on the defense, the leader of the Islamic regime himself sent the head of his office to convey his condolence message to Mousavi. Tabnak website, a site closely associated with former Revolutionary Guards commander and current secretary of the State Expediency Council Mohsen Rezai which publishes his views, announced that the head of the supreme leader’s office Mohammadi Golpaigani visited Mir-Abdollah Mousavi’s residence and passed on the condolence message of ayatollah Khamenei to the family of the bereaved. It is noteworthy, however, that the website refers to Mir Ismail Mousavi as the eldest son of the family, whereas Mir-Hossein Mousavi is the eldest son.

Hours preceding this, the minority faction in Iran’s parliament the Majlis removed its condolence message from its website, Parleman News after a number of government media outlets questioned the wisdom of the condolence messages that some members of the minority faction had published and then retracted. Among those who had sent condolence messages to the Mousavi family and who was publicly criticized by state media was Hashemi Rafsanjani, himself a two-time president who has in the past expressed sympathetic views towards the Green Movement and its leaders while remaining the chairman of the powerful State Expediency Council that is charged with mediating differences between government branches.

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