Statement one year after the election (10 June 2010)

To the great and honorable nation of Iran,

A year has passed since your spectacular presence during the 10th presidential elections.   Your enthusiastic participation was a sign of your desire to exercise your right to self-determination in the affairs of your country. However, based on a theory that considers people to be [mere] supporters of the government and the Velayat-e Faqih rather than its appointees – some have put forth their decisions and their votes as though they were yours.

A year has passed since the elections, during which we witnessed many ups and downs. We witnessed how the [group currently in] power trampled upon all modesty and tinted the Islamic Republic in a negative light. We witnessed the martyrdom of our citizens, who had come to the streets only to ask what had happened to their votes. We witnessed bloodshed, killings and the packing of prisons with the children of our regime and [our] Revolution. This year we were unfortunately lacking in the [recognition of the] people’s rights under the Constitution. Instead, these fundamental rights were replaced by extreme repression through brutal force, which had no regard for the sanctity of life. Despite all this darkness and bitterness, we still remain hopeful that the train which has been derailed from the foundations of our Constitution, our Revolution and our Imam, will return to its original path; that the wrong-doers repent and, in doing so, pave the way for dialogue and interaction.

Great and noble people of Iran,

Having experienced many bitter moments a year after the tenth presidential election, I first and foremost want to commend the great families of our martyrs who, in the past year, were not even allowed to hold an honorable funeral for their loved ones.

While offering my condolences, I ask God to bless our martyrs and bestow upon the survivors patience and forgiveness. I pay my respects to the injured who did not get the chance to recover in peace. I bow to your strength and endurance. Lastly, I remember those who were jailed unjustly in an effort to silence this great nation’s oppressed and righteous voice.

Today the prison cells are filled with compatriots of the Imam and the Revolution; with thinkers, intellectuals, youth, and freedom-loving people. We are still hopeful that the Judiciary, instead of issuing political indictments and pronouncing sentences dictated to it [by the security apparatus], will very soon prepare the context for releasing all political prisoners, thereby redeeming the status of the Judicial branch.

Righteous and noble people of Iran,

Despite numerous differences of opinion regarding how to govern the country and some officials’ self-fulfilling interpretations of the Constitution, relative unity and solidarity existed between those with different opinions, between different political factions, and between the majority of the people and state officials. Before the election, people’s rights and freedoms were ignored, ethnic and religious minorities were disrespected, women and youth were insulted and (sometimes violently) confronted, the nation was demoralized, and academic and religious scholarly institutions were under tremendous pressure to submit to the powerful. However, this still did not compare to what happened during the election and afterwards. [The authorities] copiously utilized the public funds, the public media, the military, and the reserves to deny people their say and clumsily rig the election results. They insulted and humiliated the people and their movement and, worst of all, ignored the protestors. Such large scale corruption has not taken place in the past thirty years.

Thus, even if relative national unity existed a year ago, such a thing seems impossible now after the plundering of people’s votes. The election candidates as well as their supporters, along with many sects and groups protested this enormous and obvious wrongdoing. We remember the message that brought them together: “Were is my vote?” Unfortunately, the administration has decided to react to the demonstrations by employing violence, heightening security, jailing and torturing protestors, and convicting them in show trials instead of listening to their message and acting fairly within the legal framework. These actions have taken a great toll on the nation. They have falsely accused some of the most experienced leading religious and political figures of infidelity, treason, and armed confrontation. They are selling out all of the country’s worldly and spiritual capital.

My beloved nation of Iran,

As you all know, and I as I have mentioned before, last year’s events have exposed those who think of themselves as powerfully connected. Their foot-soldiers are media outlets and websites which steal from [our] oil income and other public funds. They are burning down the Islamic Republic in flames so large that have reached all the dedicated servants of the people and revolutionaries. Their flames have even reached Imam Khomeini’s home and grandchild – Seyyed Hassan, who is a great scholar and intellectual – and other senior clergymen. We all saw the group of thugs who dishonored Imam Khomeini’s house and Mausoleum. We also saw how the people and the clergy widely condemned these foolish acts. In reaction to this condemnation, a newspaper surrounded by many evils, which knows no law or boundary when using foul language, backed the thugs who insulted the Imam’s grandson for the ‘crime’ of being on the people’s side.

This was not enough for the malevolent newspaper. Without regard for anything, they ripped through the veil of respect for the Sources of Immolation. In a wave of insults never seen before, they threatened those who had condemned the attacks on descendents of Imam [Khomeini]. This newspaper scolded the Sources of Immolation for their concerns. The newspaper asked them: “What can [possibly] stand against the defense of Islam and the Revolution?” It is very unfortunate that people [who] have no understanding of the Islamic and Revolutionary teachings of Imam [Khomeini] still want to impose their power-hungry understanding on others with threats, force, and imprisonment. [These ‘others’] include the greatest and most respected Sources of Immolation within Shi’ite Islam. [Such actions are committed] while the history of Immolation is long and its position is very well-regarded. Sources of Immolation are the guardians of Prophet Mohammad’s Islam during the time before the return of his descendant. But [the hardliners] even see these [revered figures] as subjects to their power. This is why they send their ground-troops to the offices of Sources of Immolation in Qom to invite them to the ‘right’ path. And when the Sources of Immolation deny, they pay a group to attack the offices of Grand Ayatollah Saane’i and Grand Ayatollah Montazeri and demand that they exit Qom. Thinking about these incidents and [seeing] images from these wild attacks leads us to [ask] the following questions: Has respect and dignity for religion and Sources of Immolation ever been ripped apart this badly in the history of the Shi’ites? How is it that some people have shifted from [being members] of a group that used the name of the daughter of the great Prophet as code for its operations – people who defended the land against those who waged war – to those who attack the offices of eminent Sources of Immolation at 5.30 in the morning and loot their property, belongings, and religious texts?

Who is ready to answer for this great deviation? We still remember the days before the victory of the Revolution when the bold opinion of one person against one Source of Immolation [published] in a prominent newspaper was met with a storm of response. But today, a newspaper which is seen as the representative of the Supreme Leader insults these religious figures easily. Maybe today’s awful constraints as well as the immeasurable protection and financial support that these slanderers receive stops people from holding them accountable and responding to them. But they should know that people will never forget these insults. Let them even ignore the people, if they are not responding – will God stand still and do nothing in the face of such terrible oppression of the great men of religion and Islam?

If we move past the slander and insult in that evil editorial, there is a detail that is actually accurate and worth thinking about. [I am talking about] a quote from Ali, the first Imam of the Shi’ites. He said that individuals should be judged based on the criteria of justice; not that justice should be measured by what some individuals proclaim. What is the actual definition of right and wrong (and, [indeed], justice) from the perspective of these ‘honorable’ men? How can you respond to people’s demands for their votes with bullets and then talk about justice? The right to vote formed the basis of the people’s demands. After the atrocities at Kahrizak detainment center and other legal and illegal prisons, people began to add more demands to their list. How can you open fire on people and then demand that they stop asking for those responsible?

Who from the beginning [could have] interpreted the assertion of justified demands and the inquiry into [our] votes to be counter to the Velayat-e Faqih? Why, by means of the Velayat-e Faqih, has a hatchet been taken to the very roots of the Constitution and the Islamic Republic, both of which were founded on the people’s votes? Why has the authority of the Velayat-e Faqih been so greatly extended? I doubt that so much authority and power were given to the Prophets themselves, or the infallible [Shi’a] Imams. I even doubt that God considers himself to have the right to deal with his servants in the same way [that the Supreme Leader does]! Historically, Shi’a Islam considers criticism of the ruler not only necessary but a requirement based on the Sharia law stipulation that describes “advising the leader of Muslims” [1]. Imam Sadegh [2] says “my dearest brother is the one who tells me my faults.” But as you can see, these gentlemen understand voicing opinions and views to be in opposition to Velayat-e Faqih. The Supreme Leader expressed his opinion regarding the election [and post-election events]. But the people, while maintaining respect for him, had a different view and demanded that their votes [be counted]. Is it possible to take away the people’s right to question [events] and to distort their perception and understanding by jailing them in places like Kahrizak or by killing them? They attack marjas and damage their homes, justifying [their actions] based on the views of the Supreme Leader. Or, by recruiting thugs, [they] insult the compatriots of Imam Khomeini and crush the articles of the Constitution under their authoritarian boots. Imam Khomeini’s compatriots and [our] wise people have not forgotten his tradition, manners and conduct. On many occasions where Imam Khomeini voiced his opinion on an issue, officials acted differently and according to their own judgments and understanding. Yet the Imam was never upset about this. [Moreover], no one would object to those officials or infringe on their rights. If the greatest marjas and the Supreme Leader do not detect the crescent of the new moon that marks the end of Ramadaan – if, instead an illiterate shepherd or simple laborer observes the new moon on the high hill of his territory and therefore breaks his fast – can someone call him an infidel, an armed dissident, a stooge of the US and of Zionism and [accuse him of acting] against the Velayat-e Faqih, as well as the state? If we assume the officials did not realize that the people’s votes were stolen, but that people did observe it with their own eyes – can someone call them an infidel or an armed dissident, or [accuse them of being] against the Velayat-e Faqih? How is asking questions regarding one’s votes related to opposing Islam, religion and the Velayat-e Faqih? How is it that some people consider a demand for rights to be a crime and counter to the Velayat-e Faqih when, in Islam, a dissident can debate with an infallible Imam even regarding the existence of God?

Freedom-loving and noble people of Iran:

We all remember that the socio-political views of the founder of the Islamic Republic of Iran were different from those of the great marja of the time, Ayatollah Boroujerdi. But no one recalls them having said anything against each other or having encouraged and incited their supporters to confront each other, causing unrest in religious society.

We all recall the Imam’s response to the different views of marjas within the seminary. In particular, [we recall] the manner with which he responded to the late Ayatollah Golpayegani’s social and even political views, as well as his views on jurisprudence. The announcement for Eid-e-Fetr for all Muslims was even made in his name in all of the media outlets. I recall, specifically, a tape that a number of people had recorded of one of Ayatollah Golpaygani’s sermons. It was about fifteen minutes long and related to the Velayat-e Faqih. His views were in complete contradiction to the Imam’s yet when they brought this tape to the Imam, he ordered the remarks to be broadcast on national radio twice, with all the details. We all recall that during the first presidential term of the current Supreme Leader [4], he had in mind a candidate for Prime Minister who was not recommended by the Imam or by Parliament. How beautiful [it was] that [Khamenei] was able to firmly stand behind his decision even though the Imam, with the power of the Velayat-e Faqih, did not agree with him. The response to opposing the Supreme Leader as well as the Velayat-e Faqih was different at the time. I even remember the infamous events that followed the election of Mr. Mousavi to the post of Prime Minister for a second time in 1364. 99 Parliamentary representatives did not vote for Mr. Mousavi and the current Supreme Leader, who was president at the time, famously stated that “99 people have cast a vote of non confidence and that will be 100 votes if you include mine.” He also stated the following during the inauguration and in the presence of spectators and reporters: “As I administer this presidential oath, I pledge that its execution is not completely within my authority.” With that announcement, [Khamenei] continued to assert his opposition to the choice of the Imam. However, neither he nor any of the members of Parliament who voted against the Imam’s selection were insulted, arrested, or described as against the regime or the Velayat-e Faqih. We can all remember the speech of one of the representatives of the second Parliament and the comments he made to those who disapproved of the fact that his words were against the views of the Imam: “If [speaking against the Imam] is unacceptable, then maybe he should send 270 ‘muzzles’ to Parliament.” Even after making such an inflammatory statement, that individual was never frowned upon by the Imam or his offices. He was never harassed, tortured or arrested for that speech. In fact, he was even appointed to a senior legal position within the Guardian Council and served as deputy to the Judiciary. He was also on the radar of many high-level officials within the regime. I remember that when he visited the Imam – even though it was not customary at that time – they even broadcast the news on national radio.

Now compare the Velayat-e Faqih of that time (which one can [easily] imagine based on the scholarly and practical teachings of the founder of the Islamic Republic), with the image that is presented today and the defense of which casts a shadow over what [really] goes on. God knows what damage its betrayal, as well as the betrayal of religion has done to the people’s spiritual beliefs.

Proud and noble nation of Iran:

One year after the tenth presidential elections and after what they did with your votes, and one year after blood was spilled so that you may gain your rights, I declare again, clearly and sincerely, that in accordance with my pact with you I have stood firm until the very end, and that I am ready to sit down with anyone who should present themselves from the side of the authorities and debate with them. I will express my views on the Constitution, the Line of the Imam and the Revolution, so that the people – the same people of whom the Imam said that his life is a sacrifice for each and every one – may sit in judgment and establish who are the ones who have deviated from the Constitution, the path and thought and ideals of the Revolution, and who, despite all the pressures and difficulties they have faced, have held fast to the principles [of the Revolution and Constitution]. It is only with this kind of free national debate that the misplaced trust of the people can be recovered. And had it been possible to convince the people with a mass of propaganda and with a quagmire of lies and accusations, there would have been no need for crackdowns and they would have fearlessly given protesters permission to hold a silent march without recourse to armed force. Yet the opponents of the people’s votes were not prepared to allot to the protesters even an insignificant share of the possibility of expression through the media and propaganda channels which they control. [They denied the protesters the right to] explain and give an account of or declare their positions, express their viewpoints and defend themselves from the unjust accusations made against them. Rather, they saw logic in bullets and fired them on the people. Astonishingly, instead of running the country and listening to the voice of the people of this “heavenly Islamic city” [4], they shouted slogans about running the world and legislating for its inhabitants. They fear both the people and their own shadows, and instead of national development, their agenda is composed of crackdowns and the spread of prisons and [detention/torture centres such as Kahrizak], while in their heads they also entertain the idea of running the world.

Noble and righteous nation of Iran:

The votes they stole from you and the rights that they took from you [so] unjustly are shameful stains that cannot be hidden with any color. This is so much the case that after one year, despite all the pressure and intimidation, not only have your rightful demands not been forgotten, but the desire for change has taken root in different layers of society, based on an extensive social network. This widespread desire is not something that can be destroyed with crackdowns, intimidation, arrests and arbitrary trials. God has requested of believers that they be patient and enduring, and has promised them victory. Although your road is hard and winding, the future promised by God belongs to you and the oppressors are destined to nothingness.

Is not the morning nigh? [5]

[1] A well known quote from Prohpet Mohammad Peace Be Upon Him , regarded by him as one of the most important responsibilities of Muslims.

[2] The six   Shia Imam

[3] Ayatollah Khamenie

[4]   An ironic allusion to the claims made by some high-ranking dignitaries that the aim of the   Islamic Republic is to build a heavenly regime, literally omm olqora-ye eslam, ‘Mother of the Villages of Islam’, in Iran.

[5] Quran 11:81.

Speaker or Agency: Mehdi Karroubi

Title: Statement by Mehdi Karroubi

Language: Persian, English

Western Date: 20 June 2010

Persian Date: 30 Khordad 1389

Physical/Electronic Location:,

Citation or official document code:

Translator: Khordaad88

Date Translated: 20 June 2010

Tags: mehdi karroubi, statement

Date Last Updated:


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