Author: Victoria Azad
The 17th Statement of Mr. Mousavi was released on the 1st January 2010. Not only was this statement not a step forward but it was also an escape from the future, reaffirming Mr. Mousavis previous requests, with the only difference that this time he had implemented new tactics and adopted a new diplomatic way which aimed to get the ball to the opponents field, completely unaware of the fact that the ball will bust before it reaches its destination.  By adopting such tactics Mr. Mousavi has disarmed himself and legitimized his opponent, leading to a consequent victory for the government of Ahmadinejad. The same government that was called illegitimate by Mr. Mousavi after the election is now the legitimate counterpart for discussions, referencing to what Mr. Mousavi stated when he addressed his audience: “To call the majority of the people in the society for useless idiots and imbeciles and shedding the blood of those who mourned Hussein is a disaster that occurred with between both the group of the ´Revolutionary Guards and the IRIB Media Community´”.  The intention of Mr. Mousavi is questionable when he in his dialogue with the people clearly uses the people’s tribune and invites them to fight each other, naming some of them for Hezbollah’s and the rest for the “devil’s party”. He continues by declaring the following demands:

1. Free elections
2. Releasing of the political prisoners
3. Freedom of press
4. Emphasized the right of establishing political parties and political meetings

However legitimate these demands may be, the question is, what political figure in strive to become the leader of it countries opposition would not express these demands? Nevertheless it is important to note that supporting these demands does not mean supporting Mr. Mousavi, whom in a very populist manner criticizes the actions of the government in order to acquire the peoples vote whilst simultaneously legitimizing and rewarding the government of Ahmadinejad as well as the supreme leader Khamenei in order to be exempted from paying the price of standing amongst the opposition of the Islamic republic of Iran. Within the statement of Mr. Mousavi there are cases that are impossible to support, amongst others the remarks on Israel as well as calling Khomeini for the just and merciful leader while the world of today knows very well that Khomeini was nor merciful, innocent or just.
Mousavi expresses his views of the green movement through the following statement; “Before I find my way out of this situation of crisis it is obligatory for me to stay loyal to my Islamic national beliefs and state that I am against the ruling of foreigners and declare my loyalty to the constitution (the constitution of the Islamic republic) as well as the green movement. We are the followers of Aba-Abdolah Hossein AS. We are fascinated by the same freedoms that our innocent Imam Khomeini was.”

Following these statements one can only conclude that Mr. Mousavi is more on the political path of the the Islamic reformists rather than the secular democrats.

The 17th statement of Mr. Mousavi were broadcasted by Press TV owned by the Islamic republic; his speech was translated into English and even though they never broadcast any of Mousavi´s statements, they broadcasted this one statement in a very casual manner, where the anchor who announced the statement interpreted Mousavis statement as not separating himself from the government but actually legitimizing Ahmadinejad’s government.
Furthermore an interview was done with Mohsen Rezayi (One of the Presidential candidates, also member of Expediency Discernment Council) who commented and commended the fact that Mousavi had made a “withdrawal” of previous statements and chosen to legitimize the government.

Regardless of personal religious views it is the strive for a secular state which should be an apparent political platform. It is rebels such as ayatollah Borojerdi who is imprisoned by the government and has a secular political approach that should be on the political agenda rather than the pro-Khomeini ayatollahs’ such as Mousavi who stand for the same principles and ideas as their beloved Imam.

Ayatollah Borojerdi has the courage to stand up for a non-political Islam and for the separation of religion and state and it is for upholding these beliefs that he is imprisoned and tortured by the Islamic Republic of Iran.

In regards to the previously mentioned statement by Mr. Mousavi, I would like to draw your attention to the following points;

1. Mr. Mousavi´s position should not be exaggerated and he should not be portrayed as something that it is not. The position that he has adopted is based on the discourse of Mr. Hashemi Rafsanjani during a Friday sermon held on the 17th of July 2009, where Mr. Rafsanjani emphasized the critical situation of the Iranian society as well as the importance of freeing political prisoners and restoring their dignity and honor. He stressed the fact that these issues cannot be solved short-term as well as stressing the importance of regaining the people’s confidence, giving the media freedom of press and reforming the laws regulating freedom of speech. Now the question remains, what was the purpose of this outline?

2. It is not the position of Mousavi to create a crack in the power block, the crack has been there for a long time where Mr. Mousavi and Mr. Karroubi themselves are the product of that same crack in the power block. The green movement is not an overnight trend and was not created by a few statements. It would be senseless to believe that the statements of Mr. Mousavi have had such miraculous effect that it has resulted in the whole nation’s political movement.

3. The 17th Statement is truly a political program and focuses on meeting the government’s demands instead of the peoples. It is my firm belief that the current events in Iran were not the intention of the Islamic reformists.

4. Following the beliefs of many of the secularists in Iran and the statements of the colorful movement of the people, the regime of Iran has lost its legitimacy entirely. I believe the people will not settle with anything less than the fall of this government for a future government in power elected through free candidacy, elections as well as a new constitution free from religious influences, upholding the principles of human rights. Unfortunately, Mr. Mousavi´s political platform is not compatible with these core demands of the Iranian people. 

5. In his 17th Statement, Mr. Mousavi has shown that he is ready to negotiate with the current government. The question rises, with what mandate does he enter public negotiations on behalf of the nation? Are these negotiations official? Where are the meeting protocols so far of the meetings between the religious intellectuals and the government? Why aren’t these records official? Does Mr. Mousavi enter negotiations with the “shemr” (devil) of his time for the people’s sake or for his own personal gain? Haven’t we have had enough of these political games that only prolong this regimes lifespan?

6. The power in Mr. Mousavis 17th Statement lies in the fact that the five demands that Mr. Mousavi has put forward are lawful demands however none of these demands are new. We, the opposition, has repeated the same demands for over 30 years, and hearing the same demands now from Mr. Mousavi leaves us with a brief moment of happiness,  believing that we in the end have joined the same fate. However when analyzing Mr. Mousavis statement the gap between what is written and his true intentions become apparent. The truth is that Mousavi got tangled in a struggle for power and consequently entered a battle with his nemesis Ahmadinejad. This incident grew out of control and resulted in the transformation of the loyal follower of the Imam into the “opposition” to the government, however it is clear to us that this has never been the case and will never be either.

It should be noted that Mr. Mousavi has made his stand. From now on we will bear witness to a broader scale of different attempts from Mousavis supporters (Khatami, Rafsanjani and Karoubi). In earlier articles I have already predicted this. But for us seculars, including the liberals, left winged, religious or atheists the question remains as to what position are we taking? We should not allow ourselves to forget who Mr. Mousavi is, this is the same man who has the blood of thousands of Iranians on his hands and has still today not been held accountable for his many years of involvement in the wrong doings of the Islamic republic of Iran. His beliefs were not formed due to restrictions; he firmly upholds and defends his belief in the Islamic Republic of Iran. His aim is to give the Republic of Iran a facelift and a new packaging of its façade and at the same time using this opportunity to create a greater position of power for himself as well as gaining acceptance from the international community which will subsequently keep this governments ship floating.

Nevertheless, no matter of political differences, we, the seculars who support the struggle for human rights and a just and independent justice system will defend even Mr. Mousavis rights to freedom of speech and thus condemn his arrest.

The path of unity between the Islamic reformists and the secular democrats will meet at the intersection of human rights and secularism and the basics of democracy, all other indifferences are solvable. Regardless, the people will have the final word, and the separation of state and religion will rule over the opposition as a whole, no matter political group.

The Islamic reformists’ unity with the seculars will only be possible when the Islamic reformists can agree on the separation of religion and state as well as the respect and upholding of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the core principles of democracy. If this agreement is reached, all other political issues between the two opposition groups can be resolved. The people’s key demand is the separation of religion and state. Thus the opposition must agree upon the minimum program which clearly states the demand of a complete removal of the government of the Islamic republic of Iran, and in doing so conflicts with the Mousavi and Karrobi alternative. In adopting the minimum program it will result in the unity of the green movement supporters of Iran to move and act in accordance with a clear agenda uniting them under one joint umbrella.

With best wishes for our beloved Iran/ Victoria Azad