Statement Regarding the Bloody Events of Ashura (1 January 2010)

Mir Hossein Mousavi in his first statement after the tragedies of Ashura ’09, while strongly criticizing the brutal confrontations of the government’s forces against the mourning nation of Iran, offers his five stage solution for a resolution to the current critical situation. While considering people’s protests on the days of Ashura and Tasua (one of the holiest religious holidays) spontaneous, in his five stage solution, he emphasizes on the administration, the parliament and the judiciary accepting direct responsibility in front of the nation, legislating a transparent law for elections that can create trust in the public, releasing the political prisoners and restoring their dignity and honour, recognizing freedom of press, media, and the people’s right of having legal demonstrations. Without singling out the martyrdom of his own nephew in the recent events, Mousavi reiterates that he has no fear of becoming one of the martyrs who lost their lives in their quest for their religiously and nationally legitimate demands since the election and adds that his blood is not redder than those martyred. He emphasizes that by ordering the execution, murder or imprisonment of Karoubi, Mousavi, and those similar to them the problem will not be solved. The leader of the Green movement in this statement considers the people’s protests on this year’s Ashura and Tasua spontaneous and strongly criticizes the brutal confrontations of the government’s forces against the mourning nation of Iran.


Mir Hossein Mousavi’s complete statement is as follows:

In the name of God the Compassionate and the Merciful

It was constantly told to me and [my] friends that if we don’t issue any statements, people would not take to the streets and would quit their protests and demands, and peace would return to the country. I, as one of those accompanying the great Green movement of the people, was not in favour of this idea and believed that things would not go back to normal unless the necessary reforms based on the clear principles of the constitution were carried out.

For the commemoration of Ashura, despite several requests, neither Karoubi, Khatami, myself nor any other friend issued any statement. Yet, people spontaneously came to the scene and showed that the extensive social networks formed spontaneously during and after the election, would not wait for statements and announcements. While, people neither had any accompanying or encouraging newspaper nor had the benefit of the state-run television and radio which is supposed to be bipartisan, fair and wise, yet all the nations and people of the world witnessed that in the middle of a storm of threats, propaganda, insults and godless callings, the mourners of Imam Hossein (Prophet Mohammad’s grandson) on this holly day (Ashura), while calling on Hossein, peacefully and without chanting any radical slogans took to the streets and squares [of the cities] which they had chosen themselves; and this time again faced provocative actions. Unbelievable brutalities like running people over by cars, shooting at people by the plain clothes militia that today their identity is not hidden from anyone and every day their faces and the faces of their puppeteers get more and more unveiled, created a disaster that its consequences will not leave the political scene of our country anytime soon.

Watching the shocking footages of Ashura shows that if sometimes slogans and actions moved toward unacceptable radicalism, it is because of throwing innocent people of bridges and heights, shootings, running them over by cars and assassinations. It is interesting that in some of these footages, people were seeing their [religious] brothers behind the faces of the oppressive police and Basij forces and in that critical situation and on that deafening and hateful day they were trying to protect them from any harm. If the state-run television and radio had the slightest bit of fairness, in order to calm the atmosphere and bring people closer together, it would have shown a little of these scenes. But no way! The progress of events after Ashura and the extent of arrests and other government’s actions showed that the authorities are repeating the same past mistakes this time in a greater scale and think that the policy of terror is their only solution.

Assume that with all the arrests, brutalities, threats, and shutting the mouths of newspapers and media you can silence people for a few days, how do you solve the change in people’s view of the establishment? How do you rectify the lack of legitimacy? How do you change the stunned and blaming views of all people of the world over all this brutality of a government against its own people? What do you do with the problems the country’s economy and living conditions that are getting worse because of extreme weakness of the administration? With what backing of expertise, national unity and effective foreign policy, you want to alleviate the shadow of more UN resolutions and the international attempts for gaining more points from our country and our nation?

They think that by pushing back the intellectuals, scholars, academia and political activists, they can return to the day before the election without going back to the roots of today’s country’s problems. But those who have studied the history and know a little about the complicated nature of the sociology know that this idea is the result of an illusion for escaping from the reality and seeking refuge to shallow and deceiving actions.

I clearly and bluntly say that the order of execution, murder, or imprisonment of Karoubi, Mousavi and figures like us will not solve the problem. The announcements made this Wednesday in Enghelab Square (central Tehran) and before that during the last Friday prayer by some figures affiliated with the establishment will make the consequence of any terrorist act the direct liability of the center [of the establishment] and will make the problem of the current crisis unsolvable. Calling a major portion of the society a bunch of insignificant cows and goats and calling them dirt and straws and declaring the murdering of Imam Hossein’s mourners Mobah (religiously allowed) are disasters that are currently happening by a known group and the state-run television and radio. What kind of speech is this that from a government’s podium invites people to fight with each other and calls a group the party of God and the other the party of Devil? They announce several times in a short speech to the people that it is a war! Are these remarks call for civil war and riots? Considering the use of religious language and references to Quran’s versus and the teaching of the prophet, the knowledgeable Marajeh and clergymen can say what should be done to these kinds of people.

What relates to me as a small member of the society is [the concern over] the reception of any deviation in the path of Islam and our beloved country and the remarks in the past few days, reminds me of the word of Imam Khomeini (peace be upon him) that “Kill us and we will get stronger.” I have no worries of becoming one the martyrs that lost in their lives in quest for their religiously and nationally legitimate demands since the election and my blood is not redder than those martyred.

I bluntly say that unless the existence of a serious crisis in the country is recognized, no solution to the problems and issues can be found. Not recognizing the crisis will become the justification for continuation of the oppressive solutions. Recognizing the current crisis can put the solution not in confrontation but rather in national unity. Accusing people of godlessness and collaborating with foreign imperialistic powers and infamous people and appalling movements such as MKO with the hope that it could lead to the physical elimination of some the devotees of Islam and the people is the consequence of closing eyes over the nature of the country’s national problems. I, as a devotee, say that MKO with their betrayals and crimes are dead [in the eyes of Iranians]; don’t revive them because of hatred and for gaining partisan gains.

Before I offer my solution for getting out of the crisis, I find it necessary to emphasize on the Islamic, national, against foreigners domination and loyal to the constitution nature of us and the Green movement. We are followers of Imam Hossein. We are infatuated with the freedom which that innocent Imam was its harbinger. We are followers of the one who would not tolerate the theft of a jewel from the foot of a Jewish woman in the vast Islamic land (referring to Imam Ali). We believe in a godly interpretation of Islam that considers all human the same and of equal value in creation. [We have] a view that believes in innate dignity of human and does not accept that the attacker receives a different food from what his victim is given or be subject to torture and things like that.

I and my dear friends who many of them are jailed in prisons are serious devotees of the country’s independence and suffer that our Islamic market has turned into a deceitful market of foreign goods. We are strongly opposed to the present corruption that is the result of wrong policies and lack of insight. We say that a large and influential organization like IRG cannot defend the country and national interests if it wants to calculate everyday how much the stock market has gone up or down; it will corrupt both itself and the country. We say and are prepared to participate in discussions to show that today wages and benefits of poor, workers, clerks, and other parts of the nation are sinking a vast corruption. The Green movement is opposed to lie and considers it a home wrecking pest for the country and therefore we consider the [government’s] lies in politics, security, economy, culture and other areas a great danger for the country.

We want a truthful, kind and peaceful administration and government based on people’s vote that looks at difference in people’s views and opinions as an opportunity not a threat. We consider looking into the private lives of people, inquisition, spying, closing down newspapers and limiting media against our prosperous and empowering religion and against the constitution raised from this religion. We consider wasting a cent of the public’s money for achieving personal and partisan goals sinful and announce that the national twenty year plot that has been approved by all levels of the establishment today has turned into a worthless piece of paper. We warn that significant competitors in the region with two-digit economic growth are emerging and every day get stronger while unfortunately our government is incapable of establishing the yearly budget, keeping tabs on the country’s accounts, safeguarding people’s savings, and being responsive in front of the supreme audit court and the parliament.

We are neither affiliated with Americans nor British. We have neither sent greeting cards for the leaders of any powerful countries nor are hoping for their assistance and we know that with determination in international affair every country is after its own nation’s interests and we hate those who don’t respect the culture and religious and national beliefs of their nations. It is ludicrous to accuse us of insulting Quran and Imam Hossein’s Ashura, and tearing apart the picture of Imam Khomeini. Obviously if there has been any disrespect on the day of Ashura, we don’t approve but we consider that the worst kind of disrespect is the murders of innocent people and mourners on the day of Ashura and in a month that killing is banned by Islam.

But I think that the solution to the current problems and the present crisis is as follows. Today the situation of the country is like an immense roaring river that massive floods and various events have led to its rising and have caused it to become mucky. The solution to calm down this great river and clearing its water is not possible in a quick and swift action. Thinking of these kinds of solutions that some should repent and some should make deals and there should be some give and take in order to solve this great problem is in practice going off road. I consider letting streams and springs of fresh clear water into this river to be the solution that will slowly and gradually improve the water and the river. I also believe that it is still not too late and our establishment has the power to do accomplish this importance should it have insight and have a respectful and kind view toward all of the nation and its layers. I describe some of the solutions that like streams and springs of clear water can influence the national atmosphere and improve the situation:

1-The administration should be held liable in front of the people, the parliament and the judiciary system so that there would be no unusual supports for the administration in response to its incompetence and ineffectiveness and the administration be held accountable for all the problems it created for the country. For sure if the administration is competent and right it would be able to respond to the people and the parliament, and if it is incompetent and inept, the parliament and the judiciary system would confront it based on the constitution.

2-Legislating new and clear election laws in a way that it would regain people’s trust in the free and fair elections without meddling and interference. This law should ensure the participation of all the people despite their differences in opinions and views and should prohibit the biased and partisan interference of the authorities in all levels. The primary parties in early days of the revolution can be considered as a model.

3-The release of all political prisoners and restoring their dignity and honor. I am sure that this move would be interpreted as a strong point for the establishment rather than a weakness and we know that the defeated political movements are against this solution.

4-One of the necessities of the improvement is the release of the banned press and media and letting the shutdown newspapers to publish again. The fear of free media should be eliminated and the international experience in this matter should be considered. The expansion of the satellite channels and their growing importance and the decisive influence of this media clearly show the inadequacy of the traditional methods and limitations of National TV and radio channels. Signal jamming methods and internet censorship can only be effective for a short time. The only solution is having various free and informed media inside the country. Isn’t it time to turn eyes back from beyond our borders to domestic political, cultural and social prosperity by a courageous act and based on trusting the intellectual and innovative forces of the society?

5-Recognizing people’s rights for having legal demonstrations and forming parties and groups and abiding to the 27th principle of the constitution. Acting in this matter that can be done with the wisdom and collaboration of all of the country’s enthusiasts can replace the battle between the Basij and security forces and people or people and people with an atmosphere of friendship and national affection.

More items can be added to the above list. In my opinion, even a clear small rivulet at this time can be helpful. It is not necessary that all these items be started simultaneously. Witnessing determination in this attempt will help to clear the horizon. And the last word is that all these suggestions can be executed with wisdom, insight and good will and without the need for treaties, negotiations, and political deal makings.

Mir Hossein Mousavi

Speaker or Agency: Mir-Hossein Mousavi

Title: Mousavi’s Statement #17 Regarding the Events of Bloody Ashura

Language: English, Persian

Western Date: 1 January 2009

Persian Date: 11 Dey 1389

Source: ,

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