Bookmark and Share

Mousavi Khoeini: Reformers Goal is to Keep the Regime

08/08/11 By Mohammad Reza Yazdanpanah, Rooz Online

“No Need to Find Solution”

Seyed Mohammad Mousavi Khoeini Seyed Mohammad Mousavi Khoeini, the secretary general of the pro-reform Association of Combatant Clerics (Majmae Rohaniyoon Mobarez) has said that the goal of the reformists is to “keeping the Islamic Republic,” rather than working around or outside it. Khoeini, who used to be the editor of the now-banned Salam reformist newspaper, also said that another goal of the reformers in Iran was to have reforms on a continuous basis of ineffective institutions and structures within the Islamic republic.

He defined the “continuous reforms” to be those actions that were targeted to “keep the national interest and benefits within the fundamental social beliefs” adding that efforts to achieve this were “continuous and holly” activities.

At the same time, he also implicitly said that “reform and change of laws” by Majlis representatives was a goal of the reformists.

And in a remark that is a challenge to the views of the ruling circles, Khoeini said that “the path of reforms has not come to a dead end,” thus not requiring “a solution,” a reference by some that the dead requires changes as solutions for the reform movement.

This influential cleric who belongs to a group known to be to the left among Khomeini’s views made these remarks in response to a question raised by one of his personal website readers. The person had asked Khoeini about his views on Khatami’s conditions for returning to party politics (after the 2009 political crisis) and the reformists’ ways to get out of the current situation.

Khoeini has not given any official press interviews for a long time but since he has launched his own personal website, he does respond to some questions raised by the readers of the site.

On the question about what the reform movement was going to do to get out of the current situation, Khoeini also said the movement was not in a position to require it to take actions to come out from.” He then added that the goal of the reformers is to maintain the Islamic republic to attain the goals that have been outlined in the constitution.

The mainstream media that unconditionally supports the ruling regime in the country calls Khoeini as the “grey man of the sedition,” meaning that he is not seen as the hard core member of the sedition - a term used by the supporters of ayatollah Khamenei for the Green Movement and its leaders Mohammad Khatami, Mehdi Karoubi and Mir-Hossein Mousavi, all of whom have held the most senior political positions in the country. Khoeini has also said that if people willingly gave executive and administrative authority to reformers, they would accept this as a “duty.” And while he has occasionally used his website to express his political views, he has also said that his proposals for a compromise are not for the purpose of attain power but to explain why there needs to be optimism and hope in reform efforts. He explains the main reason for this hope and optimism to be that even among the most ardent opponents of reforms, “all eyes, ears and hearts are not shut to honest proposals.”

Government’s Interpretation: A Justification for Participating in the Elections

Following these remarks by the secretary general of the Association of Combatant Clerics, a leading pro-establishment website Rajanews interpreted them to be “a rationale by a segment of the seditionists to actively return to the elections.” According to this site, by launching his personal website Mousavi Khoeniha has entered a “new phase” of activism “after years of planning and behind-the-scenes.” Rajanews also referred to Khoeniha as the “secretary of the illegal Association of Combatant Clerics which in the 2009 sedition [a term supporters of the supreme leader use to describe the post-2009 election protests across Iran] played a key role in further inflating the sedition by calling for an illegal demonstration on 20th June 2009.”

A few days earlier this site had speculated that “a section of the sedition would never give up its drive for power” and consequently some of its members such as Khatami would make remarks that would “clearly distance it from the sedition.” According to this analysis, a group of reformers such as “Khatami, Mousavi Khoeniha, Behzad Nabavi and Mirdamadi” believe that the only way to confront the regime was by infiltrating it, concluding that they had to actively participate in the March 2012 elections for the ninth Majlis and try to change the constitution, similar to what was done in Turkey.

The editorial on the website also asserts that the West would support this faction in the sedition and that Western think tanks which are the main leaders of the sedition, stress that the best way to change the structure and behavior of the Iranian regime is internal.

Khoeini is the co-leader of the Association of Combatant Clerics with Mohammad Khatami who had earlier this year announced the conditions of the reformers, or at least part of them, for participating in the upcoming Majlis elections. His conditions included the release of political prisoners, commitment to respect the constitution and conditions for healthy and free elections. His demands came just a few days after the leaders of the Green Movement, Mir-Hossein Mousavi and Mehdi Karoubi were placed under house arrest after two years of constant and regular calls for annulling the 2009 presidential elections, accusing the regime of engineering the 2009 vote.

Since then, Khatami has on a number of occasions called for the release of political prisoners while at the same time take a conciliatory attitude towards the supreme leader of the regime ayatollah Khamenei and has even called his remarks to be “a solution” to the current problems, while at the same time calling for a mutual apology between the regime and the people as a way to move on.

This is in contrast to what Mir-Hossein Mousavi and Mehdi Karoubi have been doing over the past two years which is launching the peaceful protests through the Green Movement against the 2009 presidential elections but in the course of the protests and events gradually distancing themselves from the regime and its leaders so that in their last statements prior to being put under house arrest earlier this year they compared the leaders of the Islamic republic to Egyptian Pharaohs, the dictators.

And as many supporters of the Green Movement and other prominent political personalities inside and outside Iran have taken a negative posture towards the upcoming elections, Khatami again called on the leaders of the regime to “open up the system, hold round question/answer sessions at universities, allow political parties and groups to operate and have candidates in the elections, observe the constitution, end the sieges so that everybody could participate in the elections.”

© Copyright 2011 (All Rights Reserved)