New Year Message (18 March 2010)

In the name of God, the Compassionate and the Merciful,

The unified caravan of martyrs

I wish all of our people a Happy New Year, as we approach the green spring and this national holiday. I will especially make note of the families of those who lost their lives while defending our independence during the [Iran-Iraq] war, the veterans, the injured, and those who suffered in any way. I should also mention the martyrs and those injured in 1388, [1][the year that is coming to an end], since I see their fate as connected to that of the war-time martyrs; they are all a apart of the caravan of martyrs that our country has produced over the course of history. If we have a proud country and a free nation today, it is due to their suffering and sacrifices.

Congratulating Iranians both inside Iran and abroad; [all] Iranians with a common identity

I should also pass on good wishes to Iranians from various groups, tribes, ethnicities, cultures and [political] parties; all of our people. This year, I would particularly like to mention our countrymen living abroad. Today, our people are united, and this is one of the blessings of the Green Movement. It has become so extensive, that there are people on the other side of the globe who identify themselves with the rich Iranian and Islamic cultures, strive for the glory and development of Iran and the Revolution, and try to concern themselves with the fate of their country. This is particularly true among our youth, be it inside Iran or abroad, who have sacrificed the most and who have experienced the most damage [in the events of the past year].

We should help and comfort the families who have experienced loss

As far as I have heard, the third and fourth generations of Iranians living abroad are as active as the youth inside Iran, and I would like to use this opportunity to wish a Happy New Year to them as well. The families of the martyred and the injured have had a crucial role in our movement; our people should stay alongside these families and comfort them, particularly in these first few days of festivities.

The year that has passed

The passing year has been a special one for us all. Our people witnessed a great deal of energy and excitement in the days leading up to the election, the beauty being in  the love and unity that you saw between people of different backgrounds and political inclinations. The election could have turned into a great festival for our people and initiated a new movement in the history of our nation. It was this movement that lead to very high voter turnout, with which you demonstrated your resolve to see [progress], change, independence, [and the authority of] freedom and justice. But, your active presence in the election was met with a reaction that prompted you to go to the streets with the common question: “Where is my vote?” The roots of this reaction go back to June 12, [election day]. It was not even 5PM when one of my main campaign headquarters was attacked. By 8PM, my central headquarters was also attacked and, before being published the next morning, the main Kalemeh Sabz [2] headline was changed several times on orders from intelligence officials.

A response by the government unworthy of the dignity of our nation

The lack of a proper and Islamic official response to the elections created a negative image in the minds of our people and, as a result, was the root cause of many subsequent events. The response given [by the government] was not befitting of the grandeur, liberty and pride associated with our nation. The crimes at Kahrizak prison, the atrocities at the student dormitories, the killings of 30 Khordaad – even 25 Khordaad – and the events that followed, such as on the day of Ashura, took our people by surprise.

If the challenges were political in nature, then they should have been resolved via political channels with convincing explanations. However, this was not the case, and, unfortunately, the responses by authorities were also not satisfying. One of the most significant days was the 25th of Khordaad, when our people took to the streets en masse, transforming this day into a decisive moment in the history of our nation as well as a testament to the high spirit of our nation days after the elections.

What did our people desire?

While chanting national and Islamic slogans, our people came to the streets without creating any tension; [merely] to declare their point of view and cast their vote. We expected [the government’s] response tailored to meet the gentle spirit of our people. However, we witnessed something entirely different in the events that followed, which only further complicated matters.

On the 22nd of Khordaad the people of Iran participated in the elections in order to determine their destiny and define the direction of their future. However, the events that followed became an eye-opening experience for our people and our country. Our nation discovered major discrepancies and glitches that lead to the formation of a broad spectrum of new demands. These demands began with a request for a referendum on open and fair elections, and later extended to other areas. The Green Movement was formed with the people’s agreement that all matters should be managed within the framework of the Constitution, and this became a widely-accepted slogan.

Ignoring parts of the Constitution is tantamount to rendering it meaningless

The truth is that this slogan is of significant importance to the destiny of our nation. The Constitution is a national covenant, without which there exists no unity; only chaos and darkness. It consists of a set of contiguous articles and, as such, ignoring or weakening one section only leads to rendering it meaningless and void in its entirety.

One must look at the Constitution as a whole. When it was first written, those involved composed an important introduction designed to protect the integrity and continuity of the law. Each of its articles emphasizes a set of values, aspirations and demands that are integral to the Constitution and cannot be separated. Now that our people have witnessed judiciary, political, and electoral problems (among others), they realize more than ever that the path to a bright future lies in returning to the foundation defined by our Constitution, without any interference from various political factions.

Withdrawing our demands of unconditional implementation of the Constitution is an act of treason both in the eyes of our nation and Islam; this is a demand that we will not abandon

If an article in the Constitution is erroneous, the way to fix it is clear. We must amend the Constitution in accordance with public opinion and [keep] the recent state of affairs [in mind]. [As of now], we do not have a free media or the freedoms outlined in the Constitution. We lack free elections, where candidates are not cherry-picked, and fair competition. We do not have rights that protect the people’s privacy; rights that prevent some from searching through personal letters with self-serving ‘justification.’ How can we assume to have a working system and solve our problems while the [current national path seems to lean away from] the Constitution?

We are facing many issues and difficulties in this New Year. Some of them relate to the shape that our demands are going to take. And these are rightful demands. They are a way to achieve national greatness and are a salvation for all parties on the path of developing our nation. We will persevere with these demands, and, accordingly, the coming year will be [known as] the year of persistence. We do not have the right to turn away from them. Any distraction would be an act of treason [in the eyes of] the nation, Islam and the blood of our martyrs. Our Constitution was forged in a sea of martyred blood. It is not something that we can lose easily and we must all return to [its principles].

Among other things, I wish that the executive branch was competent, at the very least

Besides this problem, there are others as well; problems that existed before, but which are going to intensify this year, although I am hoping against it. Economic prospects for the future are not good. I am not pleased with this situation. I wish that despite all our issues, we would have seen a proposal to solve [at least the non-political] troubles. But that was not so. Forecasts of economic growth for the coming year are poor. First, in addition to drops in investment, this would mean greater instances of unemployment and extensive and increasing poverty. Our middle-class is shrinking more and more as we face these problems. Second, our current [international] standing is not a pleasant one due to ambiguous policies, as well as an adventurous and inept approach [to foreign policy]. Looming upon us is a threatening situation. We have the worst possible international relations and foreign policy, and it seems that with greater sanctions we should expect [more economic pressure].

The Green Movement must expand its reach

Faced with such a situation, the Green Movement must expand its reach to all segments of society. The Green Movement must revive the timeless social and Islamic principle of inclusion. We must lend a hand to neighbors and neighborhoods both near and far, through job creation and other forms of interaction.

Let us live more modestly; let us help our fellow men and women; let us reduce the weight of people’s problems

Let us make our lives more modest and, by foregoing unnecessary formalities, make more room to think about how to reduce the load of problems that people appear to have. Let us help and attend to the families of the martyrs and those who have been injured—the just prophet looks favorably upon spending time with these families. Moreover, doing this will rekindle the nation’s hope.

The path that we cannot avoid

I believe that the path to achieving greatness follows this route and, without a doubt, the nation understands that there is no other alternative. Thus, it has its hopes in this path. God-willing, we will reach our specific goals, since our demands are not extravagant by any means. We demand a fair and healthy election—an election where being on the ticket does not imply having been vetted and selected by a few in power. That kind of electiondoes not reflect the appropriate respect towards a nation as dignified as Iran. The Iranian nation is great, progressive, and cultured. It should not be treated like a nation of ignorant, uncivilized people, for whom matters need to be decided because they cannot be trusted to run their own affairs or choose their own government properly. I ask that the government respect freedom of speech and freedom of the press so that the nation’s thoughts and ideas are able to flow freely and publicly. I am certain that the manifestation of these thoughts will be Islamic. Only then will we see a productive and progressive Iran brimming with justice and freedom. We must not be afraid to allow this to happen. In fact, we must truly fear the consequences of not allowing this to happen. We must truly be afraid of turning our backs on the demands of the people.

I will finish with a prayer from Imam Khomeini—a prayer that is relevant to our situation today:

O Lord, be watchful of our martyrs and let them rest close to your kindness and compassion. Heal our injured and our dead, and lead those who have been captured by the enemy back to the bleeding hearts of their families. O Lord, in your kindness, grant us patience and success.

[1] 2009-2010

[2] Mousavi’s official newspaper during the election campaign

Speaker or Agency: Mir-Hossein Mousavi

Title: Mousavi’s new year message

Language: English and Persian

Western Date: 18 March 2010

Persian Date: 27 Esfand 1388

Physical/Electronic Location:;

Citation or official document code: 

Translator: Khordad88

Date Translated: 18 March 2010

Tags: mir-hossein mousavi, new year, message

Date Last Updated: 23 April 2010

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