On the anniversary of the government-organized rally (December 2009) against the Green Movement the totalitarian government began attacking the leaders of the Green movement more aggressively and with a much harsher tone than used in the past. In recent weeks there has been an influx of notes, interviews, speeches and remarks against the supporters of the Green movement and Mir Hossein Mousavi, Mehdi Karroubi and Seyyed Mohammad Khatami. This trend continued with the IRIB (Islamic Republic of Iran’s Broadcasting) broadcasting chants of “Death to Khatami, Death to Mousavi and Death to Karroubi” on a variety of state run news programs. Pro-government officials even went as far as portraying themselves as God, Prophet Mohammad and his family stating that Mir Hossein Mousavi, the Prime Minister during the eight year war with Iraq does not believe in God, Judgment Day and Islam! Despite the heinous attacks and insults, to date Mir Hossein Mousavi has remained silence leading to many supporters of the Green movement asking why Mousavi has not responded to all the slander and insults. In a brief interview Kalame asked Mousavi a number of questions addressing this issue.
In response to Kalame’s questions, Mousavi referred to the methods used by the totalitarian government as out of touch and from the past and said: “They use the same methods used in totalitarian regimes such as the Soviet Union during Stalin era, or Romania during Ceauşescu’s time.” While emphasizing on the ineffectiveness of these types of negative propaganda and attacks Mousavi stated: “These ten days have provided our nation with the opportunity to better understand the nature of these guys. All these lies and slanders showed the kind of Islam these fellows practice.”
In this latest interview Mir Hossein Mousavi once again referenced the content of the Green Charter (Mousavi’s statement #17) in which he addressed the totalitarian government as follows: ” Ignore individuals like myself but take it upon yourself to free all political prisoners and announce that you adhere to all principles included in the Constitution; allow the media to operate freely, hold free and non-selective elections and you will see the horizon will become bright, for suppression will only further increase the level of demands.”
The full transcript of Mir Hossein Mousavi’s interview with kaleme is as follows:
Q: In recent weeks, totalitarians have launched unprecedented propaganda against you and the Green Movement, but you were silent in face of these attacks and did not take any position. What is the reason behind this silence? The expectations of many companions of Green Movement were for you to respond to these attacks.
A: I was going to respond but after the letter of my dear brother – Mr.Karroubi – was published, I decided not to. His view sheds light on the reasons behind all these irritabilities. The other reason for my silence was the fact that these kinds of propaganda belong to the past. They use the same methods used in totalitarian regimes such as the Soviet Union during Stalin era, or Romania during Ceauşescu’s time. Those, who organized these propaganda attacks, neither know our society nor have any understanding of the transformed international arena. They still live in the time before the development of communication technology.
Q: What is your assessment of the ten days of attacks launched against you and other figures of the Green Movement? How effective you think the propaganda of the totalitarians was?
A: For the same reasons I explained in the answer to the previous question these propaganda attacks not only were ineffective but due to their unfair content had reverse effect. These ten days have provided our nation with the opportunity to better understand the nature of these guys. All these lies and slanders showed the kind of Islam these fellows practice. It is not surprising we all know a Friday Prayer Imam (Ahmad Janati – the appointed hardliner chairman of the Guardian Council) that claimed the United States gave us one billion dollars in aid through Saudi Arabia and had given us the promise of fifty billions more after the victory [in toppling the government], and still this guy, despite this lie and false accusation, is holding his official post. Therefore these immoral propaganda attacks, which have been accompanied by swearing and threats, more than harming the growing Green Movement, prove the rightfulness and vitality of the Green Movement.
They cannot understand how people react to these kinds of claims when the person, who has killed a respected man over a bird, claims that a noble man like Mr. Khatami does not understand the Quran; or [when] in their websites call the former revolutionary prosecutor, who was trusted by Imam [Khomeini], a spy of Russia; or based on ridiculous accusations, call Ms. Rahnavard – a combatant Quran researcher – ally of the rejected Pahlavi family; or call me and him (Mehdi Karroubi) Freemasons quoting a deceased writer – who fled from people’s rage and escaped to Europe and died there! They have made Goebbels proud by misleading and lying, and have established falsely accusing others and lying part of their retrogressive and mixed with superstitions faith. However, there is another delicate point which results their cook up becomes so salty and that is the deep belief of part of the government in recognizing millions of people of this country as “dirt and dust” and “sheep and cow”. One of the reasons that make them bold enough to tell such big lies, is this view they have toward the nation.
They still do not believe in people’s intelligence and unfortunately in their private they are terrified even from imagining citizens’ rights for all the people and innate dignity for all human.
Q: In Tehran’s Mahdiyeh [convention center] (where a pro-government gathering was held) and in some other platforms, they called you, Mr.Karroubi and other figures of the Green Movement as “nobody”; what are your views about such remarks?
A: Actually this statement is completely true. Neither Mr. Karroubi nor I have ever said that we are “somebody”. It is written, in the memoirs of Sheikh Abu Saeed Abolkheir (a renown scholar and philosopher who lived many years ago) that a scholar who was competing with Sheikh sent him a messenger with this message that “I am like an elephant and you are like a mosquito” and Sheikh replied “Tell him, I am nobody and that mosquito is also you”. Of course we are not in the same level as Sheikh but based on his teaching, we also say that we are “nobody”. But this cannot be a justification for you (addressing the government) to violate people’s rights and disgrace the national covenant to this point.
Q: You reiterated a similar subject in your statement #17 (the Green Charter) which was issued in the aftermath of [the Bloody] Aashura events (December 2009). Do you still emphasize on the same demands?
A: Yes. In statement #17, I wrote: Ignore individuals like myself but take it upon yourself to free all political prisoners and announce that you adhere to all principles included in the Constitution; allow the media to operate freely, hold free and non-selective elections and you will see the horizon will become bright, for suppression will only further increase the level of demands. These kinds of deceitful and incompetent propaganda, which are being done simultaneously with the continuation of suppression and arrests, will have no outcome but making people discouraged from reforms within the constitution.
Q: The chairman of the Coalition Party (conservative) claimed that after the [tenth presidential] election, in a meeting with a delegation, you agreed with recounting some of the votes and later in the meetings that you had with members of the Participation Front (reformist) and the Mojahedin of Islamic Revolution (reformist) they convinced you to call off this previous agreement. Is this true?
A: Unfortunately the new chairman of the Coalition Party is not experienced enough. I deny this claim. In that meeting, the last remark I made was to accept “arbitration” (in which it was supposed to have representatives of all the presidential candidates as well as fair representatives of the judiciary and the Guardian Council meet and study the complaints to come up with a joint agreement). If they review their memories, they will remember that I even brought up some names as examples for the fact finding committee. The worst part of his claim is the false accusation he has made against two recognized political parties of the country, while their main members are imprisoned.
However, in addition to him (the chairman of the Coalition Party), one of the ministers of Iran-Iraq war era (when Mir Hossein Mousavi was the Prime Minister), by referencing a western magazine, has repeatedly kept quoting a statement [claimed] to be mine. Because of his services to the country when he was the minister of health, I have waited untill now and have not said anything. I wonder when he claims to be a Muslim and despite all the documents, evidence, my speeches and statements, and even the discussion that I once had with him, how he can reference an American magazine and even go beyond that and judge my political background even in contradiction with his own previous views and statements; unless we think that he was pretending before!
Q: Considering that pressure and propaganda against the Green Movement have been increased in the recent months, how do you assess the status of the society and the Green Movement in these conditions?
A: Yes, the number of distortions, lies and threats has increased. Mass executions as well as odd and cruel sentences are also being used to intimidate. The spread of the culture of obtaining forced confessions and repentant-making, which has been transferred from the inside prisons to outside political atmosphere, is more important. Based on this culture, if you want to keep your position, or get elected, or have a share in big or small transactions, or live safe from the words and actions of hardliners, you must have enough wisdom and understanding to condemn the opposition and protestors in the Green Movement. They did not even pass on the seminary schools and the Grand Ayatollahs; and we are witnessing pressure, slanders and insults against the clerics and Grand Ayatollahs. They are unaware that even in the families of the authorities, the attention toward the demands raised by the Green Movement is increasing, since these demands are according to people’s rights and our national covenant.
Our people don’t have happy memories from forced confessions, repenter-making, hypocrisy, lies and slanders. These tricks became their own counters in the month of December. All these measures and actions show clearly that the Green Movement is progressing; and God willing and with the participation of all [companions], this trend will continue until all the demands outlined in the Green Movement are achieved. We believe: “The bubbles move aside and disappear but what is beneficial for the people remains.”
Q: Although, this mass of slanders, libel, lies and deceptions will eventually unveil, but in any case one cannot ignore the massive government’s media propaganda that is funded with astronomical budgets. In your opinion, how can one overcome these kinds of divisive projects in the society and among families? How can the Green Movement be effective in order to compensate and decrease the various gaps that might grow day by day due to the incompetence and bad intensions of the totalitarians and save the national unity in face of the government divisive agenda?
A: In my opinion, promoting awareness should remain the main strategy and the same “Every citizen [is] a media” should be the main tactic. Today, simple tasks such as distributing newspapers, letters, statements as well as distributing photos and videos of post-election events and etc. has penetrated deep [in society] and has reached even the furthest corners [of the country]. The massive army of promoting awareness and spreading information has found the most effective methods to deliver the message of truth by its creativity and with simple equipments that the information age has given it.
But in addition to the efforts in promoting awareness and fighting with the spread of lies and falsification of the truth, we must not forget the memories of the friendly discussions of the [presidential] campaign days. We must not forget how – before the so-called security interventions turned the civil dialogue atmosphere to unrest and silenced the voice of discussion and dialogue – we were practicing and experiencing listening to each other’s voices in the campaign discussions.
We must not forget the Green Chain that was uniting all of us – [despite] the differences and varieties – from the south to the north of the cities and the country, and was teaching us how to live together. These precious memories can also be valuable lessons and models for our today. Also today, by keeping the atmosphere of national dialogue and discussion alive as much as possible, we must practice tolerating and enduring each other, and listen to each other’s views and opinions so that we can overcome the gaps created by the official media. For us being Green does not mean that we want to turn everyone into our color and into a single color, the same way the totalitarians and authoritarians prescribe their own color and view for everyone. Green is living side by side each other while understanding the differences, varieties in views, opinions and tastes. If the totalitarians and their propaganda try to highlight the gaps created in families and society, by accepting these differences, we must try to propose a prescription for peaceful living side by side each other. Promoting awareness peacefully is the most effective weapon against violence and the spread of division and ignorance seeds.