“To The Green Path of Hope” (5 September 2009)

In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful

The honorable, free-spirited and vigilant people of Iran,

Nearly three months ago, when you participated in the tenth presidential election, you went to the polls with the belief that your votes would be protected against the power-hungry goals of a minority group. You had been promised this with the constant reassurance of officials and the hard work of civil institutions. But the systematic violations, fraud and the bitter events that ensued, created a great disappointment out of what should have been a triumph for our nation. With the mismanagement of the responsible officials, with the wave of propaganda propelled by state owned media, and with the attacks carried out by official and unofficial security forces on peaceful demonstrations, a problem that could have been resolved in a fair and impartial process, created ever greater fissures, uncertainty and deep, broad social divisions. The direct result of these events is nothing but a widening rift between the people and the ruling establishment.

A great number of social, political and cultural activists, the grand ayatollahs [marja] and the vigilant members of the [Qom] seminary reacted against the fabricated stories created by state media and also asked that such matters be investigated: the show trials which lack the least bit of religious or legal legitimacy, the long list of the victims, the inhumane treatment of the prisoners and the illegal detention centers. Anyone concerned for the Islamic Republic, the result of our people’s century-long struggle, and the manifestation of their efforts to achieve freedom, independence, justice and progress in the shadow of piety, is now worried.

What makes our efforts to find a solution out of this current quandary all the more necessary is the need to provide our territorial integrity, to guard our country against the voracious greed of foreign adversaries, and the need to defend the essence of the Islamic Republic. [We must commit to this] despite being fully aware that in the midst of our own state and quasi-state forces, there are individuals who know that the only way they can remain in power is by creating crises and catastrophes and keeping away from any attempt to solve the problems and quandaries in society – problems that they themselves have created. These individuals are still trying to hide and cover current crises with larger crises, and to take the level of their unwise actions to dangerous heights. To a point where after creating such levels of complexity in the affairs of the country, and without paying heed to the consequence of their actions, they are murmuring dangerous words and excuses, among them the murmurs about the great purge on free-spirited and devoted academicians.

Thus, it has become a crucial necessity to take a social approach (instead of only a political approach) to solving the current conflict. And this requires us to utilize the social capacities of the Islamic Republic of Iran.

A different approach such as this one is a belief in the plurality and diversity of beliefs existent in the great, ancient and pious family which is Iran. This is the path of the divine prophets and their predecessors, and is reminiscent of divine tradition and [in such a tradition] guidance only means showing the path and the responsibility of those who claim to be religious is to create an atmosphere appropriate for growth and blossoming of humanity towards higher aims and progress. History has shown that whenever governments have aimed to abolish or dim the plurality and diversity that exists in society, they’ve had no choice but to resort to tyranny – tyranny which exists in all guises, but in essence is the same everywhere. Such solutions do not result in a homogeneous society, but rather only create hypocrisy and dichotomy in the lives of people. To carry on such acts forever is both impossible and inappropriate, according to the teachings of the Koran.

After the events which occurred in our country in such a short time, who can deny that the condition which exists in our society today is the result of the hegemony of such wrong mentality in the macro decision making process in our country? Actualizing such a public conscience is a great achievement, and sometimes centuries in the lives of civilizations and nations must pass before they achieve it, and pay a great price to do so. However, our people were able to achieve this great deed in little time, and with little price. Our people have now realized, with every inch of their being, that the only way for the peaceful coexistence of tastes and attitudes, social layers, tribes, religions and beliefs that live in this great land, is to acknowledge this vast diversity in lifestyles and to gather around an ancient identity which links all of us. Although those who have weak or backward interpretations of religion do not understand that this statement does not mean that Islam is not the righteous religion, or the last religion or one that paves the way to the right path, rather it means:

“لا اکراه فی الدین قد تبین الرشد من الغی”

(Let there be no compulsion in religion: Truth stands out clear from Error [Holy Koran])

We are stepping on path to enlightenment that has already rejuvenated the elderly and matured the youth. I ask for God’s help for myself and for you in our struggle and I hope that with the cooperation and companionship of all the sympathizers of the establishment and the revolution the goals of the nation will be fulfilled on every stage of this struggle.

That is why despite the regretful, bitter developments of recent days, people now have valuable, timeless convictions which are leagues more important that the election of one person. And this is what drives them to participate in the events of the aftermath of the election, and warms them to paying the ultimate price that they have paid.

In the months that ensued, great forces in our nation were set free, forces which have to be utilized to the best of our ability for the long-term prosperity of this nation. Our people know what they want. They were a witness to the portrait of their glorious will in the mirror which was recent events. They know they have the capital and ability to realize their wants and in this path, they have the encouragement and help of a mass of elites and capable individuals. Thus, we all now ask one another: what should be done? This question does not come out of helplessness and ignorance, but rather, what should be done with this great capital, with this renewed hope, and with these available resources?

Truly, what should be done? In answering this question, the first step is to know what we want so that this desire portrays the best and most of what we can want. If we err in finding an answer to this question, we have lost a great deal of this capital that has been obtained. There should be a great level of care taken in answering this question. The great force that our country has been able to gather has the ability to take the country to higher spiritual and material levels on one hand, or to plunge it deeply into a long, anarchistic decline. The results of our efforts greatly depend on our correct choice in this stage.

Contrary to what the state propaganda machines project, we are the ones that desire the return of trust and calm to society and we are the ones who abstain from any violent or extreme acts. We have very clear and reasonable demands. We want to preserve the Islamic Republic, we want to reinforce our national unity, and want to revive the ethical identity of the ruling system. A restoration of public trust is not possible without the acceptance of the right of the people to govern themselves, without obtaining their final approval of their ruling system, and without transparency in the affairs of the state. In the green movement that we have begun, we have no unusual or abrupt demands. What we want is to demand the lost rights of our nation.

Demand what rights? Firstly, the rights that the constitution has considered for the people, and our request for the full and complete execution of these rights. Indeed! There have been solutions proposed in the constitution to manage certain affairs which may one day not be the answer to the needs of the country and of the world. But the path to reforming [such quandaries] has been predicted in this same constitution. In our national covenant, the legitimacy of all the pillars of the ruling system is based on the trust and vote of the people. To a point where if you look closely, even a supervisory body like the Guardian Council is not far from the auspices of the people. Yes! In the constitution, the Guardian Council has been burdened with heavy responsibilities, such as overseeing the elections – [the Guardian Council is composed of] fallible humans who might fall into the trap of sin and wrongdoing and might be tempted by power. But in this same constitution, it clearly says that people are free to hold peaceful gatherings. If only this principle from our national covenant is enacted, be certain that no one in the ruling establishment will have the opportunity to misuse their power.

Our constitution is ripe with capacities that have not been met. Our officials sometimes act as if they are free to use the extra capacities of the constitution [to their advantage]. No! It will never be so. They are responsible for realizing these capacities, all of these capacities. The constitution is a monolithic whole, and they cannot stress or exaggerate those parts which are in line with the interests of certain people or of a certain group and to ignore or to only partly carry out those parts which stress the rights of the people. After thirty years, there are still parts to this national covenant [the constitution] that provoke the anger of officials as if the person speaking of them has spoken out against the Islamic Republic itself. Providing political and social rights, eliminating discrimination, legal immunity and equality before the law, the inseparability of the freedom, independence and the territorial integrity of the country from one another, the immunity of dignity, the life and property of people, the illegality of inquisition, the freedom of the press, the illegality of inspecting letters and wiretapping and spying on individuals, the freedom of political parties and people, the freedom to hold peaceful gatherings, concentration of government revenues in the treasury [as opposed to having them in various governmental and non-governmental treasuries], a [clear] definition for political crime and the presence of a jury in court, the freedom of expression and the right to be heard on state radio and television and the neutrality of this enterprise, …each of these has a specific article dedicated to it in our constitution. Principles which are easily and blatantly trampled and are carried out in ways which go directly against the spirit of this national covenant. This is carried on to a point where personal preference and tastes prevent the enactment of a simple article, like the right to teach local and native languages.

The same selective approach has been taken with the visions of the Islamic revolution. We want the restoration of those forgotten objectives and this great movement began in the hopes of their realization. There were mottos used during the revolution that using now makes some people [those who are against the green movement] unhappy as if they were slogans used by anti-revolutionaries. One of such slogans is freedom; freedom of opinion, freedom of expression, freedom after expression, freedom to elect and to be elected, freedom with all its beautiful meanings that our people had in mind as one of their most important objectives, which made them call their victory after the revolution spring of freedom. This freedom has meant political freedom and the right to criticize the rulers with no fear.

More oppressed than the Islamic Revolution, the Islamic Republic or the constitution is Islam itself – the religion of which much is spoken, but little is carried out. In most cases they screen religion, they forget whatever is not in their benefit, and they call their own [personal] tastes and expediency, Islamic Text. They go as far that lying becomes an inseparable attribute of State Media and the ugliest immoralities (torturing and killing prisoners and other shameful acts which the pen hesitates to write) are considered signs of commitment to the Prophet’s [Muhammad] religion. [The prophet] who was elected to enhance moral virtues.

If there is only one mission for a religious government, it is to prepare a background to allow people to live with faith. So why is it that our society grows more distant from faith day by day? This distance is not inherited from the revolution. There were many people who fasted for the first time in the hot summer of 1358 [1979] and they enjoyed this experience. That was what we inherited from the revolution. What we inherited from the revolution was the spirituality that we experienced during the holly war [with Iraq]. From the revolution we inherited great souls and the exceptional virtue. Our revolution showed that it is capable of providing the necessities that our society longed for. Let’s for once compare what we inherited from our Imam [Khomeyni] with what we have now in Iran: an ostentatious society where fundamentalism reigns; a society affected by fraud and deceit.

Taking a selective approach toward religion and aligning to our own tastes and profits, associating it with fundamentalism and superstition, substituting money and violence in place of wisdom and genuine advice, and bringing the clerics, this thousand year old tradition, under the government’s wing is not going to have any other result [than what has already happened]. When our imam [Khomeyni] was talking about the pure mohammadian Islam and putting it against the archaic Islam and American Islam, he was speaking of what is going on now. This backward interpretation might be named “Islam”, but is far from the real Islam. We want a return to the pure mohammadian Islam, this long, forgotten religion. And god has promised that he’s going to guide us to this celestial gift: “and those who make effort for us, we certainly will show them the way”.

Haven’t you seen that he [god] kept his promise in these past few months? Our lord didn’t ruin our faith and he is not going to do that, because he unlike those who make false claims is sympathetic and kind. “And god doesn’t ruin your faith. Of course god is sympathetic and kind toward people”.

Our people have tasted bitterness due to the events that ensued [after the election], but who can underestimate what we have gained despite this bitterness? We feel the greatness of what we have achieved in this short period of time under our skin, in our flesh. What have we done to gain those achievements? The truth is that besides having faith in god’s word, we have not acted in accordance with much progress. Look at what has happened in recent days, each event has opened the ways of god to us, one after another. Look closely! If they close those paths too, the lord is not unable to open new ones in front of those who work towards his aims. Goals which are secure, smooth, aims which will, no doubt, directly carry us to our destination. “Why shouldn’t we trust god now that he has shown us our ways?” 3 With access to such paths, we have no need to disobey the law, to regret non-violence, to resort to destruction, or to enter any dead-ends.

And let’s look at the other side, at those who are opposed to the people [and see] how they are going astray. They throw the children of the revolution in prison to satisfy their illusions. What do they expect to achieve from this? They arrest the victim of a terrorist act and let the attacker go to enjoy his life. Did they expect to gain anything but to lose face? They left their wisdom in dead-end road as they were going downhill, and let those extremists take the reign, extremists who attack innocent students in the dorms in the middle of the night, extremists whose common vocabulary is only profanity.

Those followers of the path of god saw their hopes in god’s promises fulfilled. Have not those who went astray from the path too [referring to the recent hardliner currents] got what they were supposed to get? [We] Witness today the reservations [of those who have purposely kept quite] and the flatteries. [We] Smell the stench of greed, of avarice and of voracity of mouths of fawners. [We] Hear today how they [referring to the hardliners] are benefiting from a spokesman who abuses the holy medium of the Friday Prayer to encourage violence and takes pride in extraction of forced confessions. [We] Feel their fear, fear of loneliness, fear of the future, fear of their destinies, a fear that they hide by inducing fear in others.

The devoted People of Iran! There is an oath on the shoulders of descendants of the Islamic Revolution that they must not stop at anything to return the Islamic Revolution to its early fundamentals. This is an oath to your friends and companions [in the establishment] that in their struggle against liars and cheaters, they must not betray the trust of the social forces created recently. At the same time, we all have the duty to maintain our courage and not be afraid to rebuke if we view an action in the betterment of our country. According to these vows, I, Mir Hossein Mousavi, would not suggest anything but the continuation of the same green path that you have followed in recent months: The Green Path of Hope. You started this path before the election, and with your determined will you are still walking on it. A path that you keep maintaining with your prayers, with your voice with your God is Great cries, with your rallies, big or small, with your questions, endeavors, discussions, decentralized self-developing organizations.

We used the word ‘Path’ to allude to our movement so that we would not count our achievements in the way as an end. This would allow us to always look far for a greater perfection. In addition, in this path, we look for ways that the divine guidance would bring along to us. We think, and we seek solutions, but we also believe that practically the only ways that work out is the way that he [the divine] reveals to us.

On the path that God has revealed to us we have used the ‘Green’ symbol so that this may be a flag that shows our devotion to an Islam that had the kin of the prophet as its first educators – the same people who are also the kin of rationalism, kin of love and kin of enlightenment.

We chose “Hope” as our asset so that we can allude to our Iranian identity. This is the same Hope that has moved this nation through the most challenging corners of history, it is the same hope that that has ensured the survival of this land during its darkest hours; the Green Path of Hope.

A while ago, when we started using this name to declare the features of your movement, some perceived it as a new party or committee. However, this path has nothing in common with, and it’s not an alternative to the official political organizations and does not deny our needs to such organizations. Instead, it is a broad social movement to repair and create some of the most fundamental political foundations that will influence all affairs of the country and provide the essential needs of various committees and parties for proper and fruitful activism. Certainly our society requires ethical and powerful parties to realize a stable political environment; and indeed, if a time comes when the contexts of an effective and beneficial political activism is realized then maybe I and some of your colleagues too may engage our efforts in the frameworks of a more orthodox organization. The “Green Path of Hope” however is not such an organization. Political Activism means that a group of like-minded people come together in a hierarchical organization. Furthermore, in a party the greatest emphasis is on compatibility of thoughts and coherency of opinions in the majority. Meanwhile, our path as a way that is supposed to lead to a renewal and strengthening of our national identity lays the emphasis on unity over minimal common interests; a message-oriented one that is a collection of all the large and small civil organizations that have chosen a common goal on their path forward.

To continue and strengthen the current movement of the people, the actions we take appear like a dress that we as a tailor are sewing on its shoulders. The most elegant dresses would suit the movement only if it is cut in light of reality. The reality of the situation in our country has drastically changed from what it was before. Today, what plays the strongest role in our society is a strong and self-evolving social network that has stretched among a large group of people who are objecting to the violation of their rights. In our future decisions and solutions we must pay attention to this network’s unique features. As a response to questions like what do we do, what I suggest is the consolidation and enforcement of this social network.

The several-decade-long history of Iran that we have witnessed up close reveals to us that the collective movement of people has only become conclusive during the peak of the life, vivacity and fruitfulness of these cores. When we talk about an active and alert society, and when we talk about a society that can effectively, willfully and creatively react to incidents and remove the possibilities of authoritarianism and irresponsibility in the constructs of power to act against its will [the society’s will], we are talking about a society that is composed of such a powerful network.

The responsibility we all have on our shoulders today, the responsibility which all groups, large and small groups, and even parties and political committees must carry is that we all must act as distinct cores to such a network.

Among the strengths of this network is the natural shape of its constituents. These units are composed of small but plural [diverse] groups of like-minded persons that know each other and trust each other because of their previous friendships, family or work relationship. It is impossible to disband these units because that would mean dissolving society. These entities have always existed but that is not sufficient to form an effective social network. Yet the first step in my proposed solution is that we Iranians, anywhere in the word we may be, should strengthen these social cores. We should build our homes facing each other. As the Koran says we should turn our homes into Qiblas [the direction that should be faced when a Muslim prays], in other words we should put our emphasis on these social cores that are foundational units of our society. We should become aware of their importance and more than ever turn our attention to them such that their concealed power is revealed to us. Turn your homes into Qiblas. If we used to meet one every two months, now we should gather twice a week. This is the real power of our social network.

Gather to do what? This is usually the first question we ask each other in this situation. We usually believe that what is important in these gatherings is the activities in which we engage. This is not a correct way to see it, but it is natural [to see it that way]. For this reason, these social cores are not productive if they are not turned into centers for effective action, like the fruits of a tree which are left to rot. Therefore they should be subjects of religious, social, political, scientific, cultural, artistic, athletic, charitable and other civil activities, such that in the long run, and after the passing of these waves of emotion and chaos, they continue their history-making role as we would expect.

Family gatherings, neighbors, friends, Koran reading sessions, religious groups, cultural and literary centers, associations, parties, factions, unions, groups that attend athletic or artistic events, classmates, alumni groups, colleagues that have formed friendships, etc. Each of us is a member of a few of these societies that form a context for dialogue and communication between our social cores. The recent experiences have shown that the small media created out of these relationships can act more quickly and effectively than any other mass media only if the capacities of this network are realized through an agreement on a great vision.

We will succeed in forming effective relationships only if we voice a common ideal. [This common ideal can be] a profound and accurate slogan that is capable of catering to our needs. An important part of the capabilities that have been built into our social networks is because we have found this common ideal and vision. A golden balance is the important requirement of this ideal and vision. Such that adding to [this vision] might mean that some will not want or will not be able to join [this movement] and reducing from it will mean that certain layers [of society] will not be able to find their hopes within it. This is our biggest [social] capital and we should carefully attempt to protect and purify it.

The support of the majority would have been sufficient if we had merely participated in an election. But in an enormous social movement the majority achieves victory when it reaches consensus. And it will enjoy an unopposed legitimacy when it shows attention to the concerns and the rights of those people who might think differently from it now or in the future.

We cannot expect a society, where a considerable number of people are struggling with their basic needs to widely participate in the political process. Of course this relationship is two-sided. A society deprived of fundamental freedoms and knowledge is incapable of providing a living standard that [its constituents] deserve. And at times of legendary [oil] income [the government] not only advancing the agenda of a charity economy, but also, does not achieve anything more than conceding the market and the national economy to foreigners. It is our belief that freedom is sustainable only when it comes with equality. Equally important to restrictions for freedom of speech and freedom of assembly is the widespread existence of poverty, corruption and discrimination that darkens the prospects of reaching an ideal society based on the constitution. [This is] particularly [true] since the policies of recent years do not entail a clear remedy for this situation. The fundamental damage to the national production has made continuity of profitable economic activity only a wishful desire, and securing an appropriate occupation is the desperate concern of young population and their families.

The path of God is diverse. To oppose tyranny and dictatorship and to achieve a progressive Iran, we should not be confined to one [path] or only accompany our like-minded companions. We need a discipline in our relationships such that the abduction of our companions and the destruction of units of this social network by forces of tyranny and injustice do not damage its livelihood and dynamics. Hence, we can remain capable of distinguishing our future goals based on the collective wisdom at each stage, and march towards these goals in great leaps.

If a political faction whose delusion of power is founded on opposing the [will of] the public and their just rights has a desire to solve this crisis, the least they can do at this stage to achieve this [desire] is as follows:

We are stepping on path to enlightenment that has already rejuvenated the elderly and matured the youth. I ask for God’s help for myself and for you in our struggle and I hope that with the cooperation and companionship of all the sympathizers of the establishment and the revolution the goals of the nation will be fulfilled on every stage of this struggle.

1. Form a truth finding commission and arbitration that is acceptable to all stakeholders in the tenth presidential election and investigate the crimes and fraud that were carried out and punish all wrongdoers.

2. A revision of the election laws such that conditions are formed for fair and just elections which people can trust.

3. Identify and punish the parties involved in the atrocities that occurred in the aftermath of the election against the people in all police, military and media institutions.

4. Attend to those who have suffered in the aftermath of the election, and the families of the victims. The release of all political activists and people who were arrested over the election, and put an end to their trial, redeem their dignity and put an end to the threats and harassments that they are still subject to, [harassments like] coercing them into giving up their rights and take back their complaints.

5. Enforce article 168 of the constitution to define political crime, and try the political crimes in the presence of a jury.

6. Guarantee the freedom of press, changing the biased behavior of National TV, removing restrictions imposed on political parties and groups, allowing different perspectives to be presented in the media, especially national TV. Reforming the national TV constitution such that it can be held accountable for its illegal actions.

7. Put the created capacities to action in light of a reading from the 44th article of the constitution to create private television and radio.

8. Guarantee the fundamental rights of people, the freedom to assembly and rallies by enforcing the 27th article of the constitution.

9. Legislate a ban on the interference of military officials in political affairs and prevent intervention of military forces in economic activities.

We are stepping on path to enlightenment that has already rejuvenated the elderly and matured the youth. I ask for God’s help for myself and for you in our struggle and I hope that with the cooperation and companionship of all the sympathizers of the establishment and the revolution the goals of the nation will be fulfilled on every stage of this struggle.

Speaker or Agency: Mir-Hossein Mousavi


Language: English and Persian

Western Date: 5 September 2009

Persian Date: 14 Shahrivar 1388

Physical/Electronic Location: http://enduringamerica.com/2009/09/06/text-mousavi-statement-to-green-path-of-hope-5-september/; http://www.facebook.com/note.php?note_id=132183157605&ref=mf

Citation or official document code:

Translator: Khordaad88

Date Translated: 6 September 2009

Tags: mousavi, statement

Date Last Updated: 14 February 2010

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