Leaders of Iran’s opposition Green Movement Mahdi Karroubi and Mir Hossein Mousavi held a meeting on Sunday at the home of the former Prime Minister despite an attempt by security forces to prevent the meeting from taking place.
On Sunday, security forces attempted to prevent Karroubi and his bodyguards from visiting fellow 2009 presidential candidate Mir Hossein Mousavi. After receiving news of the incident, Mousavi decided to take matters into his own hands and intervened by driving towards the scene and picking up Karroubi and his sons by car. The two men were thus able to hold their planned meeting.
During the meeting which was reported by Saham News, Karroubi expressed dismay over “institutionalisation” of lies and slander in the country and spoke about the “engineering” of votes during the 2009 elections and the post-election crackdowns that followed. “They treated the people in the worst way, using a great deal of violence,” Karroubi said, while pointing out that no one could respond their “smears” and “lies.” “They cannot tolerate the slightest bit of response from opponents and critics, neither in the National Media nor in the press … they cannot stand any form of freedom of speech and have effectively killed the freedom to speak the truth and to be truthful … even though they could have saved the country from all dangers by holding true elections.”
Speaking about the government’s proposed plan to cut subsidies, Mousavi said that “no one [was] against [more] targeted subsidies, but our main word is that there is no one that can manage this plan and a substantial number of well-known and able experts have been pushed aside [and are in prison].” “It is not a great accomplishment [if we] deploy forces in 2000 neighbourhoods in Tehran or if the Chief of Police boasts about scaring the population with the aid of the IRGC and Basij, [in order to implement the subsidy cuts].”
“The management style of these men [the authorities] has brought so much disaster for the country’s economy and its other sectors that it is now difficult to even reach [our] position six years ago.”
The two men who have been spearheading Iran’s Green Movement ever since the rigged presidential election of 2009, also discussed the increasing pressure on academic staff, students, lawyers and journalists and the harsh sentences and bans handed down to prisoners in the past year. “Yet with all of these measure, every day, newer and motivated forces enter the stage and the growth of the people’s movement is strengthening every day.”
In a clear reference to Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei’s recent remarks about the Green Movement, Karroubi and Mousavi added, “It is not in the country’s interest to create schisms among the nation and to call millions of teachers, workers, students, professors, women and men in the country, ‘dirt and dust’, ‘calves’, ‘germs’ and [perpetrators of] ‘sedition’.”
Recently and during his much publicised visit to Qom, Khamenei once more referred to the past year of protest against the election fraud that saw Ahmadinejad’s re-election, as “sedition” carried out by the regime’s “enemies.” He said, “The people’s alertness in the sedition of 2009 inoculated the country and the people against our political and social germs.”
The leaders of the Green Movement said that “creating fear and terror” among the population would result in a “loss of legitimacy” and that “no [political] system can survive without legitimacy.”
“We believe that all of the Iranian nation are dear, and have citizen rights and all of them have an inherent dignity. Human nature is at odds with [terms such as] ‘germs’ and ‘dirt and dust’. A healthy and desirable society formed based on the people’s vote, is a society in which protests, strikes, criticism, etc are among the [most] natural and basic rights of the people.”
In the end, the two reformist figures criticised the current administration’s “adventurous” policies that had led to many UN resolutions against Iran in a very short time span. They also maintained that the continuation of the difficult living conditions in the country as a result of the government’s mismanagement of the economy, would lead to the “disintegration of the system.”
Green Voice of Freedom